Prospective Buyers Offer More Money for Smithfield Foods

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Deals for squeals. Photo: iStockphoto

An investment group that owns 5.7 percent of Smithfield Foods sent a letter to shareholders stating it had rounded up a collection of new buyers willing to pay more than Chinese company Shuanghui International Holdings for the pork megaproducer. The $4.7 billion or $34 a share deal was announced in May and touted as the potentially largest China-U.S. acquisition of its kind, but now Starboard Value LP says the merger undervalues the company, and they'll seek to delay a shareholder vote set for September 24. Critics of the deal, which must close before November 29 if it is to proceed, have criticized Shuanghui International's food-safety record, which at one point included a recurring maggot problem. [Reuters, Earlier, Earlier]