Instead of closing on Saturday after 90 years in the meat-processing business, Briggs & Co. of Landover will continue operations under a new owner--Mash's Hams Inc., a privately held family corporation based in Baltimore that is the East Coast's largest marketer of bone-in hams.
Briggs will continue to produce hot dogs, sausages, bacon and other meat products under the Briggs name, according to the new owners.
"We are operative right now and will be continuing all the familiar Briggs' product lines," said Howard Mash. Mash, who previously served his own organization as vice president for sales and advertising, will become vice president for sales at the Landover plant.
The purchase, for "an asking price of $4.1 million," included Briggs' 95,000-square-foot plant on Columbia Park Road in Landover, all company brand names and trademarks and all manufacturing machinery.
Mash said the Briggs plant currently is operating at about 25 percent capacity.
Dozens of Briggs workers, notified last May that the company would close Oct. 31, secured other employment and have left the company, he said. Those remaining "are being interviewed right now, and hopefully things will work out for those who wish to stay. It's a two-way street . . . we need skilled workers and they need jobs," Mash said. The buyers hope to bring the plant to "full-capacity utilization" and predict about 350 jobs will be created as a result.
Briggs was purchased by Mash's Hams Inc. from LTV Corp. of Dallas and had been operated by an LTV subsidiary, Wilson & Co. Inc. of Chicago, one of the nation's biggest meat-packing firms. Wilson & Co. was recently spun-off into an independent corporation but continued to operate Briggs for LTV.
Spokesman Les Wells said LTV is "getting out of the meat and food business" and will concentrate instead on its other activities, which include ocean shipping, energy products and services and aerospace operations.
Mash's chairman and chief executive officer, Nathan Mash, said, "We'll be adding new ham and corned beef products to the line, some of which will be marketed under the Briggs' and others under the Mash's name."