McCleskey Mills to be sold for $176 million - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

McCleskey Mills to be sold for $176 million

SMITHVILLE, GA (WALB) -

Olam International, a global agribusiness operation has signed a purchase agreement to acquire 100% interest in Smithville-based peanut sheller McCleskey Mills for $176 million, according to a company news release.

McCleskey Mills is the nation's third largest peanut sheller with processing facilities in Smithville and Rochelle.

The company also manages 20 buying points and farmer stock storage assets in the southeast.

Olam International is based in Singapore and owns Universal Blanchers.

Olam says the deal will enhance their relationships with farmers through the strong grower network of McCleskey Mills.

"We are joining forces with Olam because there is a great opportunity to utilize each other's strengths and create a best-in-class solution for both our customers and growers. We are very excited about the future" said Jerry Chandler, MMI chairman and chief executive officer.

Chandler said the deal to close by the end of January, but did not comment further on the purchase.

The McCleskey Mills senior management team will continue to run MMI operations after the deal is complete.

McCleskey Mills opened as a cotton company in Americus in 1929.

It converted to its current operations when purchased by Thomas J. Chandler in 1974.

The company moved its peanut shelling operations to Smithville in 1983.

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