Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) announced that its shareholders approved the proposal of Shuanghui International Holdings Limited to acquire the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor for $7.1 billion.
Starboard Value LP previously urged its fellow shareholders to vote against the offer of Shuanghui International Holding Limited because it is organizing a group of buyers to offer a higher alternative acquisition price for Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD).
The activist hedge fund said it needs more time to complete its initiative, and pointed out that voting against the deal will not jeopardize Shuanghui’s bid because its merger agreement with Smithfield provides flexibility. Starboard Value believed that the assets of Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) are worth $11 billion if sold separately.
Starboard decided to support Shuanghui’s proposal
Last Friday, Starboard Value changed its position and decided to support Shuanghui’s proposal after failing to organize a group of buyers willing to offer a collective and higher alternative proposal to acquire Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD).
According to Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) 76% of the total outstanding shares of the company, or 96% of the votes cast, were in favor of the deal, as announced during a special meeting of shareholders today.
Under the terms of the agreement, the shareholders of Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) will receive $34 per common share. Following the closing of the transaction, the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, and it will no longer operate as a publicly-traded company. The company expects to complete the transaction on September 26.
In a statement, C. Larry Pope, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) said, “We are pleased with the outcome of today’s vote and thank all of our shareholders for their support. 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.”
Shuanghui is the largest meat processor in China
Shuanghui International Holding Limited is the largest meat processor in China. The company owns Shuanghui Group and Henan Shuanghui Development, based in Hong Kong. Last year, the company reported $6.2 billion revenues primarily generated from its meat processing and distribution business in 13 provinces in China.