The Board of Directors of Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE: SFD) yesterday adopted a new Shareholder Rights Plan, which replaces a similar plan that expires on May 31, 2001. The Plan is not being adopted in response to any specific effort to acquire control of the company. If a person or group acquires beneficial ownership of 15 percent or more of the common stock outstanding, each right distributed under the Plan will entitle its holder (other than such person or group) to purchase, at the Right’s then current exercise price, a number of shares of the company’s common stock having a market value of twice such price.

A detailed description of the rights has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A summary of the rights will be mailed to the company’s shareholders.

Smithfield Foods has delivered a 28 percent average annual compounded rate of return to investors since 1975. In the last 15 years, the company has produced a return that is four and one-half times greater than that of the S&P 500 Index. With annual sales of $5.2 billion, Smithfield Foods is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs. For more information, please visit