Arrow-right Camera

Business

Smithfield investor to back China deal

Sun., Sept. 22, 2013

Smithfield Foods Inc.’s largest shareholder says it will vote in favor of a proposed takeover by a Chinese meat producer after failing to find an alternative bidder.

Starboard Value LP had said earlier this month that that it would vote against Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd.’s $34 per share offer because it wanted more time to seek alternatives that would provide better shareholder value.

The New York investment firm said Friday that it believes another bidder could have offered shareholders a better deal, but it could not secure an offer under existing time and financial constraints. Unless another proposal emerges, Starboard plans on voting in favor of Shuanghui’s $4.7 billion offer. The vote has been set for Tuesday.

Starboard owns about 5.7 percent of Smithfield’s common stock.

The investment firm had argued that while the deal with Shuanghui does offer some value, shareholders would be better served if the company focused on selling its various divisions.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, would be the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, valued at about $7.1 billion including debt.

Smithfield shares fell 21 cents to close at $33.96 Friday.


 

Click here to comment on this story »