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Smithfield deal gets anti-trust approval

(Global Times)

11:11, July 15, 2013

The US' largest pork processor Smithfield Foods Inc announced Friday that it has received anti-trust approval from the US for China's largest meat producer Shuanghui's takeover of the firm, but the deal still faces many uncertainties.

"The required waiting period has expired under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Anti-trust Improvements Act of 1976," Smithfield said in a statement on its website. Expiration of the waiting period is equivalent to anti-trust approval.

Smithfield also announced that it has received foreign anti-trust or anti-competition approvals for the deal in Mexico and Poland. The US firm expects that the takeover deal will be closed in the second half of 2013.

However, the company said the deal still remains subject to other conditions, including approval by Smithfield's shareholders, review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US and other customary closing conditions.

The committee has previously rejected plans by two Chinese companies - telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co and construction machinery firm Sany Group Co - to purchase US enterprises, making the deal full of uncertainties.

US senators held a hearing Wednesday on whether the deal will hurt US food safety, and a Missouri governor's July 2 veto of two bills allowing sales of farmland to foreign buyers also poses challenges for Shuanghui's proposed purchase.

At the same time, Starboard Value LP, a hedge fund which claimed to have taken a 5.7 percent stake in Smithfield last month, said Smithfield would be worth more if the company could be broken into three parts and sold separately. The three parts include US pork production, pig raising and global sales of meats, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The $4.7 billion deal, announced on May 29, would be the biggest takeover of a US firm by Chinese companies so far if approved.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:ChenLidan、Wang Jinxue)

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