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Buffett’s CTB Adds Chicken Eviscerators in Dutch Purchase

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s CTB Inc., the farm-products firm bought by Chairman Warren Buffett in 2002, agreed to acquire Meyn Holding BV of the Netherlands to expand into neck breakers and eviscerators for chickens.

Meyn, founded in 1959, has customers in more than 90 countries, Milford, Indiana-based CTB said today in a statement. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Buffett, 81, is scheduled to host Berkshire’s annual meeting tomorrow in Omaha, Nebraska, where he will discuss the firm’s units, comment on their managers and show off products and services. CTB Chief Executive Officer Victor Mancinelli, who has been praised publicly by Buffett for expanding the unit, said the billionaire Berkshire chairman supported the deal.

“He’s thrilled with it and he can see the strategic fit with our company very well,” Mancinelli said in a telephone interview. “It is one of the bigger acquisitions that we have done in the last five years.”

CTB, which has made at least eight acquisitions since joining Berkshire, sells feeders and ventilation systems under its Chore-Time Poultry group and provides equipment for storing and drying grain. The unit bought Porcon, based in Deurne, the Netherlands, in 2007, and added it to the PigTek equipment group of brands.

Stun, Pluck, Kill

Meyn provides systems to stun, pluck and kill as many as 12,000 birds an hour, according to its website. The Meyn Maestro, which removes chickens’ insides without damage to the liver, is the world’s best selling eviscerator, according to the company’s website. Oostzaan-based Meyn also makes equipment for chilling, deboning and packaging.

Berkshire units from NetJets to Clayton Homes to Geico set up stalls at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center to highlight their offerings of luxury flights, prefabricated homes and car insurance policies. CTB’s display at last year’s meeting showed its solutions for handling grain and keeping animals, and exhibited a biometric system for measuring the weight of pigs.

“Vic is a manager that could run any company in the Fortune 500,” Buffett said of Mancinelli in a video address to CTB employees posted on the unit’s website in 2010. “He’s done a wonderful job for us.”

CTB recorded $124 million of pretax profit last year. Berkshire’s 2011 net income was $10.3 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at afrye@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net.

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