Mississippi-based chicken processor Sanderson Farms, the third-largest chicken processor in the U.S., will be purchased by Cargill Inc. and Continental Grain Co. for $4.53 billion. The sale will merge Sanderson Farms with Wayne Farms to form a new, private poultry business. The newly formed company, if approved by Congress and federal regulators, will produce 15% of the country’s chicken products, trailing only Pilgrim’s Pride. The new operation will be heavily concentrated in the Southeast in over a dozen processing plants in Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Georgia. Get more details on this merger.