Just before press time it was learned that the federal Competition Bureau has approved the sale of the Tyson Foods Lakeside beef processing plant at Brooks, Alberta to XL Foods.
In an interview, Lee Nilsson, one of the principal owners of the company, said that they can now proceed with the final details of the acquisition. He said that issues such as existing inventory, contracts and other assets will need to be resolved during the transition. He expects to see his company fully take over the Lakeside operation sometime in March.
The sale of the Lakeside plant to XL Foods was announced last fall but had to receive approval from the Competition Bureau due to concerns with the concentration of beef processing to only two major buyers in Canada. Opponents to the sale included the National Farmers Union.
Concern had been expressed that if the sale had not proceeded, the plant may have been closed by its American owners.
This acquisition by XL Foods along with its other meat processing assets will make it the largest beef processor in Canada. It also returns the Lakeside plant to Canadian ownership. XL Foods is part of the Nilsson Brothers group of companies that includes cattle feeding and marketing.