When Tyson Foods announced it was closing its processing plant in the southside of Chicago, 480 workers expected to lose their jobs. But now that may not happen. The 200,000 square foot facility has been snapped up by OSI Food Solutions, headquartered close by in Aurora.
The deal was reported by the Chicago Tribune to be worth $7.4 million. Officials with OSI Food Solutions said they were delighted to acquire this large and well-equipped factory to bolster OSI’s infrastructure, capacity and storage operations. The company said it is likely they will offer jobs to many of the Tyson workers who were set to get pink slips. Join Linkedin to see all updates at OSI Group.
Alison Kovaleski is a spokesperson for OSI Food Solutions. She said the facility will enhance OSI’s ability to meet the rapidly evolving needs of its customers. That was precisely the problem Tyson Foods was having. When they announced the closure of the plant before selling it, they said part of the problem was “limited ability to meet changing consumer demands.”
But this is an area that OSI seems to have not just mastered but honed to an art. Industry observers describe OSI Food Solutions as an “extremely nimble” organization that has shown “remarkable facility changing on a dime” as trends in the consumer market change.
OSI Food Solutions has been riding its ability to innovate and meet customer demand to become among the largest food processors in the world. The firm now has more than 65 facilities in 17 nations. It employs 20,000 people globally. Forbes recently placed OSI at No. 58 on its list of Top 100 privately held American companies. OSI is led by chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin who joined the company as an owner in the 1970s.
OSI recently acquired another of its Chicago neighbors – the Rose Packing Company based in Barrington. Rose Packing operates a facility in Chicago that employs 700 people. Like OSI, Rose Packing is a meat processing company with deep roots in the Chicago area. OSI was founded in a Chicago suburb in 1909. Rose Packing began operations in Chicago in 1924.