Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE: SFD) has announced that it plans a private offering of $200,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its senior unsecured notes due 2009. The offered notes will bear interest at a fixed rate, based on market rates at the time of sale.

If the offering is completed, the Company plans to apply the proceeds initially to repay indebtedness under its U.S. revolving credit agreement. Thereafter, the Company expects to use availability under this facility and others, together with internal funds, for capital expenditures and general corporate purposes, including expansion of its processed meats business and strategic acquisitions.

The Company is offering the notes in reliance on an exemption from registration for offers and sales of securities that do not involve a public offering. The offering and sale of the notes have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the notes may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.

This news release contains ``forward-looking'' information within the meaning of the federal securities laws. The forward-looking information includes statements concerning the Company's outlook for the future, as well as other statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements.