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Beef Plant Sale Finalized, Future Still Unknown

April 2, 2014, 6:15 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Beef Plant Sale Finalized, Future Still Unknown
ABERDEEN, SD -

A beef plant near Aberdeen is officially sold but we still aren't sure what its future holds.

White Oak Global Advisors finalized its purchase of Northern Beef Packers Tuesday. It isn't sharing details at this point of what will happen with the property. It established a new entity, New Angus, which purchased the plant.

A news release says White Oak has confidence in the facility's future as an operating plant. Julie Johnson with Absolutely! Aberdeen is optimistic after talking with White Oak representatives.

"We're very encouraged. They bring a real professional attitude to the entire transaction. I do believe they will do it right. I don't believe there will be a race to do it too fast so I have a lot of confidence in the folks that we've already met with White Oak," Johnson said.

Johnson is confident the plant will be up and running in the future. According to the release from the company, White Oak is still evaluating its options. It submitted a top bid of more than $40 million for the plant in December.

Robert Preston is an assistant professor at Northern State University School of Business. He says he would expect White Oak to sell to another company which wants to operate a processing plant. But he says other scenarios could play out as well, including finding people to manage the plant.

Either way, Preston says, White Oak no doubt has a plan to be profitable.

"These are people who make their living doing this and they don't do it wrong very often or they wouldn't make a very good living," Preston said.

There's been $1 million set aside for unsecured creditors which include workers owed back wages. An Aberdeen lawyer says he expects that to be released soon.

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