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China's largest meat company confident in Smithfield purchase


08:12, July 05, 2013

ZHENGZHOU, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Shuanghui Group, China's largest pork producer and processor, has expressed confidence in acquiring Smithfield Foods, despite a U.S. governor's move to veto bills favorable to the purchase.

Liu Jintao, vice general manager of the group, was optimistic about the outlook for the purchase initiated by Shuanghui International, the group's parent company.

"We inked an agreement with the world's largest pork producer, Smithfield, and we believe our partner will handle the case properly," he said Thursday.

More than a month after the two companies jointly announced the purchase, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Tuesday vetoed two bills that would allow non-U.S. enterprises to achieve farmland ownership, which is currently banned within the state.

Although Liu did not directly comment on the impact of the veto, he used Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like service, to stress, "Smithfield Foods and Shuanghui International have discussed this issue and consider it no obstacle in finalizing the acquisition."

On May 29, Shuanghui International agreed to buy Smithfield for 7.1 billion U.S. dollars, a move expected to improve the Chinese meat giant's management and competitiveness.

"The acquisition, which comes under the backdrop of the United States facing overcapacity in meat production while China is haunted by the opposite, will be a win-win deal," said Feng Yonghui, chief analyst with Beijing Yiheng Modern Farming Information and Technological Institute.

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