US meat processor Smithfield Foods plans to form a joint venture with Kansas City Sausage Co.

The transaction, announced today (15 February), will be funded with cash and will be a 50/50 partnership deal. Smithfield said it will allow the company to grow in two categories it that have not historically been a focus: breakfast sausage and dinner sausage.

“With our strong ongoing focus on building our packaged meats business, and with 15% of the US sow population, this joint venture is a logical fit for Smithfield. These categories represent over $4bn in retail and foodservice sales annually,” Smithfield president and CEO Larry Pope said.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.