US packaged food company ConAgra Foods has said that private equity group Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst has exercised its option to acquire ConAgra Foods' minority interest in Swift Foods, the company created when ConAgra divested its fresh beef and pork operations around two years ago.

For its minority interest, ConAgra said it received US$194m, and will record no gain or loss on the transaction. The company no longer has any equity in fresh beef and pork processing operations and expects to soon recover the $300m financing it provided to Swift Foods' cattle feeding operations.

The financing, which ConAgra provided for two years, was secured by cattle and feedlots. ConAgra said it now has control of the assets of the cattle feeding operations, and will sell the cattle and feedlots over the next few months.