New owner closes Altura egg plant, moving jobs to plant in Iowa

Published 3:32 pm Saturday, August 17, 2013

ALTURA — Michael Foods Group Inc. said it plans to close a recently acquired egg processing facility in southeastern Minnesota and move production to another plant in Iowa, affecting about 40 employees.

The company’s subsidiary, M.G. Waldbaum Co., acquired the plant in Altura after purchasing Primera Foods Corp. about two months ago in a deal worth $35.7 million. The deal also included a manufacturing plant in Britt, Iowa.

“As we closed the sale and started to review the entire business with our team, the team determined expanding the plant in Britt and integrating the Altura production into our facilities was the best approach,” said Diane Sparish, the company’s vice president for communications.

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Sparish said about 40 employees at the Altura plant will be entitled to severance pay and retention incentives. While the exact employment needs at the Britt expansion are not yet known, Sparish said employees at Altura are encouraged to apply for open positions at Michael Foods.

Altura Mayor Josh Elsing said Michael Foods has been talking with the city since the transition began.

“We do recognize the impact of this decision on Altura,” Sparish said. “We are committed to working with the affected employees and community leaders through the transition.”

Michael Foods is based in Minnetonka.