WINDOM, Minn. — An Iowa pork producer says it it will not keep more than 1,000 employees at a bankrupt Minnesota plant if a judge approves its winning bid to purchase the business.
Premium Iowa Pork, based in Hospers, Iowa, bid $13 million to buy the slaughterhouse in Windom, which is the largest employer in the southwestern Minnesota town. The plant was scheduled to close Saturday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Stacey Ashley, a spokesperson for HyLife, which owns the Windom plant, confirmed in an email that the company had a buyer, pending court approval.
She also confirmed Premium Iowa Pork will not retain Windom employees, many of whom are immigrants who came to work at the plant on worker visas. She said the company will “arrange transportation” for those employees back to their home countries.
The Star Tribune reported 450 of the plant’s workers were brought to Windom from foreign countries, with a large percentage from Guanajuato, Mexico.
Premium Iowa Pork did not say in court filings what it plans to do with the plant.
HyLife’s attorney said he expected the sale to be finalized by Wednesday in time for a hearing on Friday.
When it announced that it planned to sell the plant, HyLife cited inflation, high grain costs, foreign exchange rates and the plant’s operational losses.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Horan did approve an agreement to sell about 20,000 finisher hogs to AgriSwine Alliance of Aberdeen, South Dakota, for about $1.3 million.