CUDAHY (WITI) -- The buzz in Cudahy on Wednesday, May 29th was news that a Chinese company has purchased Smithfield Foods -- the parent company of Patrick Cudahy, a pork-packaging plant.
Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest processor of pork, announced on Wednesday, May 29th that it was being bought by Chinese meat producer Shuanghui International for nearly $5 billion. It is the biggest announced acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese buyer.
Those in Cudahy told FOX6 News they were shocked to hear the news, and said they fear Patrick Cudahy will not stay in Cudahy.
"I think it's going to impact the community. I'm concerned for my home and my house value. We don't have much to hold this city together anymore. I mean, it's going to be a ghost town," one Cudahy resident told FOX6 News.
There is no indication at this point that the Chinese company is looking to downsize the workforce or close plants.
The company selling Patrick Cudahy suggests the exceptional Chinese demand for pork means a brighter sales forecast and perhaps a more optimistic job outlook.
Hair Quarters Manager Terri Pawlarczyk estimates up to a third of her customers have ties to the nearby plant, so job loss could translate to an income loss for her.
"I just wonder, is it going to help our community or hinder our community?" Pawlarczyk said.