The combined JBS USA/Pilgrim’s Pride headquarters in Greeley. Both entities are majority-owned by Brazilian meat giant JBS S.A. Dan Mika/BizWest Media

Pilgrim’s Pride to pay $75M to distributors, grocers to settle antitrust claims

GREELEY — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (Nasdaq: PPC) will pay $75 million to multiple companies to settle anticompetitive practices although the larger federal investigation over alleged industry-wide anticompetitive behavior still looms.

The Greeley chicken packer will pay the $75 million to the class included as part of a Department of Justice investigation out of the Northern District of Illinois, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The class is mostly made up of food distributors and grocers and includes Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Chick-fil-A Inc.

The company said it is not admitting guilt to the charges. The settlement will be listed as a charge on the company’s fourth quarter earnings and is subject to court approval. 

The settlement does not put an end to the dozens of lawsuits naming Pilgrim’s, Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), Smithfield Foods Inc. and other major players in chicken packing that were filed in recent months and are based on the Justice Department’s claims. The majority of these cases are awaiting initial hearings.

Some of the most prominent brands that have filed their own suits include restaurant chains Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., White Castle Purchasing Co. and Boston Market Corp. and grocers such as ALDI Inc. and Wawa Inc.

The group settlement follows the company’s $100.52 million settlement with the Department of Justice to settle separate federal charges.

However, that agreement does not affect the Justice Department’s individual prosecution of former CEO Jayson Penn and three other former Pilgrim’s executives on antitrust and obstruction of justice charges.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC

GREELEY — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (Nasdaq: PPC) will pay $75 million to multiple companies to settle anticompetitive practices although the larger federal investigation over alleged industry-wide anticompetitive behavior still looms.

The Greeley chicken packer will pay the $75 million to the class included as part of a Department of Justice investigation out of the Northern District of Illinois, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The class is mostly made up of food distributors and grocers and includes Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Chick-fil-A Inc.

The company said it is not admitting guilt to the charges. The settlement will be listed as a charge on the company’s fourth quarter earnings and is subject to court approval. 

The settlement does not put an end to the dozens of lawsuits naming Pilgrim’s, Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), Smithfield Foods Inc. and other major players in chicken packing that were filed in recent months and are based on the Justice Department’s claims. The majority of these cases are awaiting initial hearings.

Some of the most prominent brands that have filed their own suits include restaurant chains Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., White Castle Purchasing Co. and Boston Market Corp. and grocers such as ALDI Inc. and Wawa Inc.

The group settlement follows the company’s $100.52 million settlement with the Department of Justice to settle separate federal charges.

However, that agreement does not affect the Justice Department’s individual prosecution of former CEO Jayson Penn

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