Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (NYSE: CHX, CHX.A) and WLR Foods, Inc. (Formerly: Nasdaq: WLRF) yesterday jointly announced that, following the approval of the merger by WLR Foods stockholders on January 26, they have completed the acquisition of WLR Foods by Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation in a cash merger.

In the transaction, shareholders of WLR Foods will receive $14.25 per WLR Foods share previously held. As a result, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation paid approximately $234.5 million in consideration for the WLR Foods shares, and also repaid approximately $45.5 million of WLR Foods debt. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation financed the merger through a combination of cash on hand and borrowings under its credit facility.

“We are excited to have this merger completed so we can begin the process of integrating WLR Foods, Inc. into Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation” stated David Van Hoose, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer for Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation. “We welcome the customers, employees, suppliers and growers of WLR Foods into our company which, with this acquisition, becomes the nation’s second largest chicken company and the fourth largest turkey company in terms of production capacities, and expands our sales and marketing capabilities from coast-to-coast.”

In his comments at the WLR Foods shareholders’ meeting on Friday, January 26th, William D. Wampler, chairman of the board of WLR Foods, said, “We are pleased that our employees and growers have the opportunity to be associated with a company with the quality and integrity that we see today in Pilgrim’s Pride. I believe that Bo Pilgrim shares similar values and beliefs to those on which our company was built nearly 80 years ago.”

With the completion of the merger, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation becomes the second largest chicken and fourth largest turkey company in the United States and remains the second largest chicken company in Mexico, employs more than 22,500 persons and operates processing plants, distribution centers, hatcheries and feed mills in Texas, Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Oklahoma and Mexico.

Products are sold under the “Pilgrim’s Pride®” and “Wampler Foods®” labels to foodservice, retail and frozen entree customers. Pilgrim’s Pride’s primary distribution is through retailers and restaurants in Central, Southwestern, Mid-Atlantic and Western Regions of the United States and the Northern and Central regions of Mexico and to the foodservice industry nation-wide in both countries.

CONTACT: Richard A. Cogdill, Chief Financial Officer of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, 903-855-4205