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George’s Announces Intent to Buy Tyson’s Harrisonburg Operations

Tyson Food’s release details sale of Harrisonburg plant to George’s Inc. 

Poultry complex would complement George’s existing Virginia plant

Harrisonburg, Virginia – March 18, 2011 –George’s, Inc. has signed a letter of intent to buy the Tyson Foods,  Inc. (NYSE: TSN) poultry complex in Harrisonburg, Virginia, officials from both companies announced today. The sale price has not been disclosed, however, representatives from both companies hope to complete the deal soon, pending execution of a definitive agreement and completion of customary closing conditions.

“We believe Tyson’s Harrisonburg complex will be a good fit for our company, complementing our existing poultry operations inHarrisonburg and nearby Edinburg,” said Gary George, Chairman and CEO of George’s.  “We don’t plan to make any immediate changes and expect to retain substantially all of the people currently employed by Tyson at Harrisonburg.  It’s also our intention to honor the contracts Tyson has with the 121 contract farms that raise chickens for the complex.”

Tyson’s Harrisonburg complex currently employs more than 500 people.  Operations include the processing plant in Harrisonburg and a hatchery in Broadway, as well as a feed mill and truck shop in New Market.

“Harrisonburg has been an important part of Tyson for many years and has a great workforce, however, we believe it makes economic sense for us to sell the plant and divert more of our resources to some of our other operations,” said Donnie King, senior group vice president of Poultry and Prepared Foods for Tyson.

The Harrisonburg complex was among the poultry operations Tyson acquired in 1989, when it purchased Holly Farms.  The complex currently produces commodity boneless and whole bird chicken as well as chicken leg quarters for sale to retail, foodservice and international customers. The potential sale does not affect Tyson’s other operations in Virginia, which include poultry production complexes at Glen Allen and Temperanceville.

About George’s

George’s, Inc. is a fully integrated poultry operation headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas.  It is a fourth generation family owned operation that began in the late 1920’s as Farmers Produce Company started by C. L. George with his sons, Luther and Gene.  George’s processing and marketing emphasis is concentrated mainly in food service and retail market segments.  George’s, Inc. is an approved supplier to every major food service network in the country supplying products from production facilities in Springdale, Arkansas; Cassville, Missouri and Edinburg, Virginia.

About Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:  TSN), founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500.  The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and more than 90 countries. The company has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.