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Have Cattle Producers Been Romney-ed?

01/25/2012 12:19 pm ET | Updated Mar 26, 2012

Sale of National Beef looks a lot like a Bain Capital maneuver.

Did National Beef 's cattlemen owners just get "Romney-ed"?

John Miller, National Beef's former CEO, now consultant and member of the Board of Managers, was a top fundraiser for Romney's 2008 presidential campaign. He owns property next door to Romney in La Jolla, CA.

Miller and the National Beef management team tried to sell National Beef to JBS/Swift in May, 2008, further concentrating an already monopolized beef sector. Antitrust concerns prevented the sale. In another attempt to sell-out, the management team postponed an Initial Public Offering in December, 2009, citing weakness in the IPO market.

Finally, National Beef has found a buyer. U.S. Premium Beef (USPB), National Beef's captive-cattle-ownership group, is now a minority owner, losing its majority interest to Leucadia National Corporation.

Connections of Miller, Romney and Ian Cumming, chairman of Leucadia National Corp., whose family owns Park City Mountain Resort, go back at least to Utah's 2002 Winter Olympics. Romney was the SLOC president where it turned out it was, "...the campaign contributors who win [won] the gold."

Miller and friends will make out with Romney sized profits and USPB members will make money on their initial stock investments, but will likely lose their primary reason for buying into National Beef - a market for their cattle.

Will the USPB cattle producer owners soon be weeping about, "When Leucadia Came to Town"? Regardless, so much for that producer-owned co-op idea.