Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Shuanghui International Holdings Limited yesterday announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that values Smithfield at approximately US$7.1 billion, including the assumption of Smithfield's net debt. Shuanghui International is the majority shareholder of Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co., which is China's largest meat processing enterprise and China's largest publicly traded meat products company as measured by market capitalization.
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Shuanghui will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Smithfield for US$34.00 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 31% over Smithfield's closing stock price on May 28, 2013, the last trading day prior to yesterday's announcement.
Global expansion strategy
"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 will become part of an enterprise that shares our belief in global opportunities and our commitment to the highest standards of product safety and quality. With our shared expertise and leadership, we look forward to accelerating a global expansion strategy as part of Shuanghui."
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Smithfield, which represents a historic opportunity for both companies and their stakeholders," said Shuanghui chairman Wan Long. "Shuanghui is a leading pork producer in China and a pioneer in the Chinese meat processing industry with over 30 years of history. Smithfield is a leader in our industry and together we will be able to meet the growing demand in China for pork by importing high-quality meat products from the United States, while continuing to serve markets in the United States and around the world. The combination creates a company with an unmatched set of assets, products and geographic reach." New company as independent subsidiary
Upon closing of the transaction, Smithfield's common stock will cease to be publicly traded. The Company will be a wholly-owned independent subsidiary of Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, operating as Smithfield Foods. 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, which is expected to close in the second half of 2013.
Source: Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Shuanghui International Holdings Limited