Smithfield Foods announces plan to sell to Chinese firm

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SMITHFIELD—Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork and hog producer, has announced today it plans to sell to Chinese holding company Shuanghui International Holdings Limited. Shuanghui International and its subsidiaries are the majority shareholders of China’s largest meat processing enterprise

In a deal agreed to by both company’s boards of directors, Shuanghui would acquire all outstanding shares of Smithfield stock for $34 per share in a deal that values Smithfield at $7.1 billion, including debt.

“This is a great transaction for all Smithfield stakeholders, as well as for American farmers and U.S. agriculture,” said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield. “We have established Smithfield as the world’s leading and most trusted vertically integrated pork processor and hog producer, and are excited that Shuanghui recognizes our best-in-class operations, our outstanding food safety practices and our 46,000 hard-working and dedicated employees. It will be business as usual — only better — at Smithfield.”

Mr. Pope will continue as president and chief executive officer of Smithfield, and the management teams and workforces of Smithfield’s Independent Operating Companies will continue in place after the transaction.

Shuanghui will honor the collective bargaining agreements in place with Smithfield’s represented employees, as well as existing wage and benefit packages for non-represented employees. Under the agreement, there will be no closures at Smithfield’s facilities and locations, and Smithfield’s existing management team will remain in place. Shuanghui has pledged to maintain Smithfield’s headquarters in Smithfield, and to continue Smithfield’s philanthropic support of community initiatives and investments in sustainability.

The closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions, including, among others, approval by Smithfield’s shareholders, the receipt of approval under applicable U.S. and specified foreign antitrust and anti-competition laws, The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and other customary closing conditions.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2013.