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Pilgrim’s Pride files for bankruptcy protection

MILWAUKEE – Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, hurt like other meat producers by volatile feed prices and slumping demand but also hobbled by an unmanageable debt load.

The Pittsburg, Texas-based company, the nation’s largest chicken producer, sought protection in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, saying that as of Sept. 27 it had $3.75 billion in assets and $2.72 billion in debts.

Pilgrim’s Pride, which controls about 23 percent of the U.S. chicken market, will continue operating during the reorganization and will not liquidate its assets, spokesman Ray Atkinson said.

“We really believe this will help us come out a lot stronger and we expect it to be business as usual,” Atkinson said.

The chicken producer has been saddled by the debt from its $1.3 billion acquisition of rival Gold Kist Inc. in 2007 – what analysts cite as the primary cause of its large debt load.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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