Shuanghui Completes Smithfield Acquisition

Oct. 8, 2013
Governments, shareholders approve sale to Chinese company.

The acquisition of Smithfield Foods Inc. by China's Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. moved along quickly in September, with the transaction a done deal by Sept. 26.

Early in the month, the two sides received clearance on the transaction from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), as well as clearance from the government of Ukraine.

The transaction remains subject to Smithfield shareholder approval and other customary closing conditions. Smithfield's shareholders are scheduled to vote on the transaction at a special shareholders meeting on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. Shuanghui International and Smithfield expect the transaction to close shortly thereafter.

On Sept. 24, Smithfield shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed strategic combination. More than 96 percent of the votes cast were voted in favor of the transaction, which represented approximately 76 percent of Smithfield's total outstanding stock.

Two days later, the two companies announced the deal was complete.

"This is a great transaction for all Smithfield stakeholders, as well as for American farmers and U.S. agriculture," C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president/CEO, said after the shareholder vote. "The partnership is all about growth, and about doing more business at home and abroad. It will remain business as usual — only better — at Smithfield, and we look forward to embarking on this new chapter."

"Today marks an exciting new chapter for both of our proud organizations as we formally begin a partnership that will benefit our customers, employees, producers and partners," said Shuanghui International Chairman Wan Long. "Together we look forward to utilizing our individual strengths, including Shuanghui's extensive distribution network in China and Smithfield's leading production and safety protocols, to provide safe, high-quality products to consumers worldwide."

Smithfield shareholders received $34 per share in cash for each share of Smithfield common stock they owned. Smithfield's common stock is no longer publicly traded; the company now is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shuanghui.

A week later, the companies announced expanded responsibilities for Robert (Bo) Manly as executive vice president and chief synergy officer and the promotion of Kenneth Sullivan to Manly's job as chief financial officer. Pope remains president/CEO.

Manly retain responsibility for Murphy-Brown, Smithfield's hog production operations. He joined Smithfield as executive vice president in 1986 and has been president of Smithfield Packing Co., Premium Standard Farms and Murphy-Brown. He became CFO in 2008. Prior to Smithfield, he was assistant to the president of IBP Inc.

Smithfield is ranked number 8 on the 2013 Food Processing Top 100 Food and Beverage Companies list.

To learn more about the deal, read our previous coverage: