PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine lawmaker says New England’s largest egg producer is in negotiations to sell its operations to Minnesota-based Land o’ Lakes.

The possible sale of Jack DeCoster’s egg operations in Turner, Maine, came to light during legislative debate of a bill that would remove the right of DeCoster’s workers to unionize. A spokesman for DeCoster confirmed to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network that Land o’ Lakes expressed an interest.

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Chris Grimbilas, DeCoster’s assistant, said Friday the operations are profitable and that there have been suitors. He declined to address Land o’ Lakes, other than to say there’s been no deal.

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Land o’ Lakes said it doesn’t comment on “rumors or speculation in the marketplace.”

Don Hoenig, Maine state veterinarian, called the negotiations “the worst-kept secret in agriculture right now.”

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