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NFU Calls for Halt to Smithfield Takeover

22 July 2013

US - The US National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson has called for the takeover of Smithfield Foods by the Chinese company Shuanghui to be blocked.

Mr Johnson has sent a letter to US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), opposing the proposed acquisition.

"The proposed buyout of Smithfield by a Chinese interest is extremely alarming to NFU members across the country," said Mr Johnson.

"Uncompetitive markets in the pork and beef industries have had a dampening effect on the ability of family farmers and ranchers to stay in business."

In 1980, there were 660,000 hog farms. Today there are only 67,000. In 2011 alone, approximately 2,300 hog producers went out of business.

“The costs of the acquisition far outweigh the benefits to Americans, and the security of our domestic food system is threatened by foreign control,” said Johnson.

“ I urge CFIUS to set a bold precedent – that the administration values our farms, our food, and our rural economies so much that the federal government will stand up to a takeover of a large swath of our agriculture industry.”

If the sale is permitted to move forward, Shuanghui would take control of a very large portion of the US pork industry. the NFU said. Smithfield currently controls 15 per cent of domestic US pork production and 26 per cent of pork processing in the United States.

Pricing of Upsized $900 Million Senior Notes Offering Announced

This week, apart of the financing for the proposed acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui, a Virginia corporation, Sun Merger Sub, Inc has announced the price of its senior notes offering.

The company has priced its offering of senior notes, which will be issued in one series of 5.250 per cent senior notes due 2018 in an aggregate principal amount of $500,000,000 and one series of 5.875 per cent senior notes due 2021 in an aggregate principal amount of $400,000,000 .

Merger Sub is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Shuanghui International Holdings Limited.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the offering is expected to close on 31 July.

On the closing date, the proceeds of the offering will be deposited into an escrow account. Upon release from escrow, the Company and Merger Sub expect that the net proceeds of the offering will be used to partially fund the Acquisition, at which time, Merger Sub will merge with and into the Company, with the Company continuing as the surviving corporation as an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Parent, and assuming all of Merger Sub's obligations by operation of law.

The Notes will be offered and sold to qualified institutional buyers in the United States pursuant to Rule 144A and outside the United States pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

The Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements.

Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development Co., Ltd majority share owned by Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, has been ranked 128th on 2013 Fortune China 500 list released on this July 16th. According to Fortune China’s website, the ranking included all Chinese companies listed in domestic as well as international markets and based on the data released from the public listed companies at the stock exchanges.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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