The presence of extended-spectrum beta -lactamase (ESBL) or plasmid-mediated AmpC beta -lactamase (pAmpC)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL/pAmpC-EC) in livestock is a public health risk given the likelihood of their transmission to humans via the food chain. We conducted whole genome sequencing on 100 ESBL/pAmpC-EC isolated from the broiler production to explore their resistance and virulence gene repertoire, characterise their plasmids and identify transmission events derived from their phylogeny. Sequenced isolates carried resistance genes to four antimicrobial classes in addition to cephalosporins. Virulence gene analysis assigned the majority of ESBL/pAmpC-EC to defined pathotypes. In the complex genetic background of ESBL/pAmpC-EC, clusters of closely related isolates from various production stages were identified and indicated clonal transmission. Phylogenetic comparison with publicly available genomes suggested that previously uncommon ESBL/pAmpC-EC lineages could emerge in poultry, while others might contribute to the maintenance and dissemination of ESBL/pAmpC genes in broilers. The majority of isolates from diverse E. coli lineages shared four dominant plasmids (IncK2, IncI1, IncX3 and IncFIB/FII) with identical ESBL/pAmpC gene insertion sites. These plasmids have been previously reported in diverse hosts, including humans. Our findings underline the importance of specific plasmid groups in the dissemination of cephalosporin resistance genes within the broiler industry and across different reservoirs.