"But FBO's failure is also another sign of an industry experiencing brutal consolidation.


"But FBO's failure is also another sign of an industry experiencing brutal consolidation. According to Steve Kay, a cattle analyst, the top five beef companies (Tyson, Swift, Excel, Farmland and Smithfield) control 89% of America's steer and heifer slaughter. Even so, in a good year, profit margins rarely clear 2%. As Mr. Kay says, "you have to be a little obsesses" to go into the industry at all. All the odder, then, that no fewer than four parties are showing interest in the plant in Kansas."

Source: "Big Brains, No Cattle," The Economist, 1/4/02

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