While the multiple attempts to buy out Storm Lake's most dominant employer are cause for close scrutiny, Storm Lake Area Development Corporation leader Jim Gossett suspects that the pork plant in the city will continue to thrive regardless.
"Local employment is a primary concern, but I have to think that the IBP plant would continue to be open even if there would be a new owner. The Storm Lake facility has always been touted by IBP as the most efficient in their entire company, and $17 million has recently been invested into expanding the plant. It seems impractical that any new owner would choose to abandon such a strong, productive workforce," Gossett said this week, shortly after the third multi-billion-dollar buyout attempt for IBP in recent months.
In response to the Dec. 4 offer from Tyson Foods, IBP is "prepared to enter into discussions with you regarding your proposal," according to a letter from IBP special committee chair JoAnn Smith to Tyson president John Tyson Monday. IBP agreed to make financial documents available to Tyson for review. IBP officials are, however, concerned about the current trading price of Tyson stock, which serves as a key element in the buyout. "We are very interested in discussing with you ways to protect the value for IBP stockholders," Smith wrote, adding that IBP officials hope to meet with Tyson to discuss the regulatory and political implications of the potential deal.
Read the rest of this article in the 12/07 Pilot Tribune.