Pennexx Foods yesterday [Wednesday] announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase a 145,000 square foot facility on ten acres of land in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The company anticipates that the transaction will close within the next 30 days.

The facility was formerly used as a meat processing plant and was approved by the USDA. Pennexx expects to make only modest improvements in the facility to satisfy its specifications and management plans to move into the space immediately.

Michael Queen, president and CEO of Pennexx, said: "We have been searching for a larger facility to accommodate the escalating demand of our case-ready business for some time now, having reached our anticipated capacity at our current facilities in the fourth quarter of 2001. The new facility will substantially increase Pennexx's case-ready production capabilities and begin to fulfill existing business demand.

"It is perfectly suited to our needs, as it is strategically located in the central Northeast corridor and close to our customers. Since the new facility requires minimal improvement, we will be able to renovate and automate quickly and plan to be operational in this pristine facility by the second quarter of 2002.

"We are on track with our growth plans. In fact, we are expecting to report revenue for fiscal 2001 of over US$40m, representing an increase in excess of 200% over the US$13.5m in revenues we reported in 2000. We plan to announce fiscal 2001 financial results by the end of March."

Queen continued: "This new facility gives us the means to ramp up production of higher margin, value-added product lines, optimizing our growth and profit opportunities. With the automation processes we will have in place, we intend to become an industry leader in the emerging market category for case-ready meat in the northeast and realize exponential growth in our business."