When Agriprocessors was sold, its name changed to Agri-Star. Now, less than two months later, Agri-Star is changing its name, apparently to PrimeStar or something very close to that.
A name change by itself wouldn't be that unusual. But this change isn't being made in a vacuum.
I'm told employees are required to apply for their jobs, and must fill out applications. Those applications are due, I'm told, by tomorrow.
This tells me Hershey Friedman's SHF is probably selling (or flipping) Agriprocessors to another corporate entity.
This could mean Friedman is selling out, or could mean Friedman is creating more layers to help mask ownership.
A normal name change without an ownership change would be done as a DBA, Doing Business As amendment to the original corporate filing.
Friedman's primary business is plastics. I'm told a common practice in that industry during the 1980s and 1990s was to flip ownership between corporations in order mask true ownership and to create a scenario where several companies would bid for the same government contract.
This scenario allowed one or two companies to overbid, driving up the price of the potential contract and raising the bottom bid.
I have no evidence linking Friedman to this practice.
An Agriprocessors name change less than two months after changing Agriprocessors name to Agri-Star does, however, raise red flags.
I'm also told the beef kill is still not up and that it may not be running until early winter.
UPDATE 4:20 pm CDT – FGBA (in the comments below) points out SHF's Daniel Hirsch (Friedman's son-in-law and Postville point man) recently formed a trucking company called Primestar.
If the only employees needing to reapply are truckers and mechanics, the name change is no big deal, and I'll further amend this post to reflect that when it's confirmed, if it is.