Pilgrim's Pride Files for Bankruptcy Protection; Has 14 Plants in Alabama

PITTSBURG, Texas (AP) - Chicken producer Pilgrim 's Pride is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Texas-based company operates 14 facilities in Alabama, including poultry processing plants in Athens, Boaz, Russellville and Enterprise.

Company spokesman Ray Atkinson says Pilgrim 's Pride is reorganizing and not liquidating its assets.

He says the company will keep operating. The Pittsburg, Texas-based company sought the bankruptcy protection in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas on Monday.

The company has been saddled by debt due to the acquisition of its rival Gold Kist Inc. and has had to extend its temporary credit line three times since September.

It's also hurting due to volatile feed prices and an oversupply of meat on the market, which keeps prices down.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)