Raided HM Capital meatpacker considers options

Swift & Company has decided to look into ‘strategic alternatives’ one month after an immigration raid on six of its pork and beef processing facilities.

Greeley, Colorado-based Swift & Company, a processor of fresh beef and pork and a portfolio company of Dallas, Texas-based HM Capital Partners, has hired JPMorgan to help it assess its financial options, the company said.

“The review was initiated as a result of a series of unsolicited inquiries over the past six months from a variety of strategic and financial third parties, as well as currently robust capital market conditions,” Swift said in a statement.

Swift said it has no specific direction in mind, but its options include a sale, a merger, the formation of strategic partnerships, refinancing or a public equity offering.

The announcement follows an immigration raid that took place at six of Swift’s pork and beef processing facilities in December. Conducted by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security, that raid resulted in the arrest of more than 1,200 people charged with “immigration violations” of undocumented immigrants who allegedly used Social Security cards, birth certificates and other documents to assume the identities of actual US citizens.

HM capital, formerly Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, teamed with Vail, Colorado-based Booth Creek Management Corporation to buy Swift, formerly known as ConAgra Meats Company, from ConAgra Foods for approximately $1.4 billion. HM Capital remains the majority owner of Swift.