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Pilgrim's Pride cuts 230 jobs after sale to JBS

PITTSBURG, Texas (AP)--Pilgrim's Pride Corp. is cutting 230 corporate and administrative jobs, the chicken producer said Jan. 5, just over a week after it emerged from bankruptcy protection.

The Pittsburg, Texas-based company sold a majority of its business to the U.S. unit of Brazilian beef giant JBS after emerging from bankruptcy. It said Jan. 5 the cuts are part of its efforts to consolidate operations with its new owner at JBS USA headquarters in Greeley, Colo.

Pilgrim's Pride filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2008 after it was unable to cope with mounting debt, low chicken prices and rising feed costs, which hurt much of the industry.

The company continued to operate while under bankruptcy protection but underwent major changes--shuttering plants, cutting thousands of jobs and shedding production to improve its financial position.

The company said in a news release that 160 jobs will be cut at its headquarters or in nearby Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Others are in a dozen other places, including Atlanta and Dallas.

Affected employees will receive severance and placement assistance. The company said the cuts won't affect production or operations.

The companies expect to have final consolidation plans in three to six months.

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