US meat processor Smithfield Foods has confirmed that Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods has received a no-action letter from the Canadian Competition Bureau regarding Maple Leaf’s proposed acquisition of Schneider Corporation, Smithfield’s Canadian pork processing operation.

As a result, all material conditions required to close the deal have been met, Smithfield said. The company expects the sale of Ontario-based Schneider to close early in April for a purchase price of approximately US$378m, subject to closing adjustments, including the assumption of the company’s outstanding debt.

Smithfield said net proceeds from the sale will be used to repay the bridge loan that it used to finance its acquisition of Farmland Foods in October 2003.