Shareholders approve sale of Patrick Cudahy parent company

Smithfield Foods Inc., the parent company of Patrick Cudahy Inc., announced that its shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the acquisition of the company by Shuanghui International Holdings Limited of China.

At a special meeting of shareholders in Smithfield, Va., more than 96 percent of the votes cast were in favor of the transaction, which represents approximately 76 percent of Smithfield’s total outstanding shares of common stock.

“We are pleased with the outcome of (the) vote and thank all of our shareholders for their support,” said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield. “This is a great transaction for all Smithfield stakeholders, as well as for American farmers and U.S. agriculture. 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.”

Some U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns that the acquisition of Smithfield by a Chinese company could squeeze U.S. pork supply as more of the meat goes overseas while leaving the United States susceptible to food safety concerns that have plagued Chinese companies, including Shuanghui.

The company employs more than 46,000 people in four countries and 25 states.

Under the terms of the agreement, Smithfield shareholders will receive $34 per share in cash for each share of Smithfield common stock that they own. Upon closing of the transaction, Smithfield’s common stock will cease to be publicly traded and the company will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, operating as Smithfield Foods. Subject to customary closing conditions, the company expects to complete the combination by Sept. 26.

Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield, Patrick Cudahy, Eckrich, Farmland, Armour, Cook’s, Gwaltney, John Morrell, Kretschmar, Curly’s, Carando, Margherita and Healthy Ones.

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