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30 Jobs saved with new owners at Perham egg operation

About 30 jobs have been saved in Perham, following a local purchase of the former Primera egg processing plant.

A new company, Perham Egg LLC, has been formed through a financing package that will keep a part of the plant operating into the future.

The operation processes and dries eggs, creating dried egg product that is packaged with a variety of baking and cooking products.

There are four partners in the financing package, including the Perham Economic Development Authority, which loaned $250,000. The West Central Initiative Fund also invested $300,000, according to Perham EDA director Chuck Johnson. The principal owner of the plant is North Central Equity, a Minneapolis-based holding company.

Though Primera has now sold its Perham operation, the product produced here will continue to be shipped to Primera--so Perham Egg LLC will become a vendor to Primera, said Johnson.

Primera at one time employed 56 workers, but it then relocated its egg-drying operation to another location. The egg cracking operation continued in Perham, with a reduced workforce of 30.

The cracking operation liquifies the eggs, which are then piped into tanker trucks and exported to Primera's drying facility.

"We were aggressive in putting together an attractive offer," said Johnson. "We wanted to make sure that the plant would stay in Perham."

Continuing on as manager of the Perham egg operation will be Tim Wacker, who has been with Primera in Perham for 25 years.

"We are especially pleased to close on this transaction because we were able to preserve a large number of jobs as a result of our purchase. The seller had previously announced that it was going to close the plant in Perham," said Elam Baer, the CEO of North Central Equity.

"We are pleased to add this business to our family of companies," said Elam Baer. The new ownership group includes Joel Baer and Jona Baer, the owners of the FarMoor Valley Egg Company, who bring many decades of experience in the poultry industry.

"This will be the fourteenth acquisition for North Central," added Elam Baer. "North Central continues to search for other companies to acquire."

North Central Equity LLC is a Minneapolis-based, privately-owned holding company, established in 2004. It has completed fourteen acquisitions and currently has eight operating subsidiaries.