CHINA/US: COFCO sells stake in Smithfield Foods

By Dean Best | 19 November 2012

COFCO invested in Smithfield in 2008

COFCO invested in Smithfield in 2008

Chinese state-owned agribusiness and food processor COFCO has sold its 5% stake in US meat giant Smithfield Foods.

Smithfield said on Friday (16 November) it had paid US$148m for COFCO's 4.95% stake. 

COFCO bought the shares in Smithfield in 2008. At the time COFCO said it wanted to "explore growth opportunities in China's food industry" with the US pork processor.

Last year, COFCO chairman Gaoning Nang resigned from his seat on the Smithfield board, although Larry Pope, the US firm's CEO, said the company wanted to "foster [its] relationship" with the Chinese group.

On Friday, after Smithfield announced the acquisition of COFCO's stake, Pope said: "As the leading consumer of pork, China is an important export market for Smithfield and we will continue to maintain a strong commercial relationship with COFCO going forward. We foresee many future business opportunities for Smithfield and China and our outlook for US pork exports remains positive," Pope said.

Show the press release

 

Smithfield Foods Announces Repurchase of COFCO Shares

 

SMITHFIELD, Va., Nov. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) today announced that it has purchased 7.0 million shares of its common stock from COFCO Corporation, China's largest national agricultural trading and processing company. The purchase was made pursuant to Smithfield's previously announced share repurchase program.

"As the leading consumer of pork, China is an important export market for Smithfield and we will continue to maintain a strong commercial relationship withCOFCO going forward. We foresee many future business opportunities for Smithfield and China and our outlook for U.S. pork exports remains positive," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer.

The aggregate value of the purchase was approximately $148 million, or $21.12 per share, and represents the entirety of COFCO's previously held position that was established in July 2008.

 

Original source: Smithfield Foods

Sectors: Emerging markets, Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions

Companies: Smithfield Foods

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