Superior Livestock under new ownership
June 13, 2013
National Livestock Credit is pleased to announce the purchase of Superior Livestock Auction, Inc. National Livestock and cattlemen from several states have formed a limited partnership to acquire Superior.
According to local Superior representative and manager of St. Onge Livestock, Justin Tupper, the action doesn't come as a surprise.
"It has been in the works for a long time," said Tupper, who respects the new owners of the diverse livestock marketing company. "National Livestock Credit has actually been in business in Oklahoma since the 30s or 40s. I think they are well respected in the industry. I think it will be a good alliance, considering their long time knowledge and history with the cattle business. It should be a good partnership."
Tupper adds that he doesn't foresee changes to the upper management or the representatives. "I just think it will be business as usual. It will be good, they've been good people to work for and I don't foresee anything changing," he said.
Superior Livestock Vice President Joe Lichtie confirmed Tupper's comments in a phone interview, explaining that the transaction had originally been planned for 2011 but the Eastern Livestock "meltdown" slowed things down.
The meltown Lichtie referred to was the scandal in which four men including two executives with Kentucky's now infamous livestock brokerage company Eastern Livestock were charged with theft and deception and sentenced to prison after defrauding producers and others to the tune of $850,000. Several cattle producers who had sold livestock through the business were given bad checks when the market went bankrupt.
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"We had to get that mess behind us before we could continue with progress," said Lichtie, referring to the sale of Superior Livestock from previous owners Farm Credit West to new owners National Livestock Credit.
"National Credit was very interested in buying the company and we were interested in them buying it, it is the best thing that could have happened for us," he said. "We were two years on hiatus from negotiations due to the Eastern Livestock debacle but we are pleased that they went back to the table and that we were able to make a deal."
Lichtie said no staffing changes are expected and added that representatives like St. Onge's Justin Tupper are the recognized faces of Superior in any given region, and are appreciated by the management.
Like everyone, Lichtie is concerned about the drought as he looks at the future of the cattle market. "We've got some nice pairs for sale from Montana just because they are droughted out," he said, adding that Superior eventually sees the negative impact of a drought too because "when people sell their factory (cows) then they don't have calves to sell."
Birch Negaard, Sundance, WY, representative for Superior Livestock echos Tupper's sentiments. "I am comfortable with the new owners," he said, adding that Jim Odle, co-founder and General Manager, was hired back, with the goal that the company go to a "good, reliable" owner and Negaard believes National and the cattelemen involved in the LLP fit the bill.
National Livestock Credit is part of a family of livestock service companies formed in 1932 to improve the ability of producers to market and finance livestock. When livestock producers were seeking more competitive options, the National Livestock companies were formed to improve the potential for profitability for those producers. The corporate headquarters of National Livestock Credit is located in the Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Superior Livestock Auction, Inc. was founded in 1987 and introduced satellite video marketing to the nation's cattle industry. Superior has grown to become the largest livestock auction in the United States, marketing well over one million head of cattle annually. Superior Livestock Auction, Inc. has offices located in Brush, CO, and Fort Worth, TX, with its auction facilities and Superior Productions' offices located in The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.
Odle, commented "I have had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Robert York and Danny Jones from National, and I truly believe that National is the ideal ownership group for Superior Livestock Auction. We share common goals and values and we look forward to working with them as we move forward to continue our legacy in the livestock marketing industry."
Lichtie said, "This is a perfect alliance of two industry leaders coming together. Superior Livestock is thankful for the successful transition led by National and Farm Credit West throughout the acquisition of Superior. We couldn't have asked for a better outcome for Superior Livestock, our representatives, employees and most importantly our loyal customers. This venture has been a long time coming, and we look forward to remaining the Nation's leader in livestock marketing."
Danny Jones, President of Superior Livestock Auction, commented "The two companies share a common bond, a commitment to serve the United States cattle industry with the best products and services available. We believe that by joining forces, we can further serve the industry. Superior Livestock Auction has become the industry leader in helping both sellers and buyers of cattle reach their desired goals. Superior's innovative marketing system provides tremendous value to both sellers and buyers, not only through access to the nationwide market, but also through efficiencies gained in reduced shipping costs, lower animal stress, and better animal health."
Robert York, President and CEO of National added, "We have admired the business model of Superior for many years. We have often had the opportunity to work with many of the representatives and employees of Superior since we share many mutual customer relationships. We have always viewed Superior as a company comprised of hard working people with the strongest integrity and we believe they work every day to achieve higher profits for their buyers and sellers. We couldn't be more pleased to join forces."
–compiled from a Superior Livestock release and staff interviews