Smithfield makes announcement to senior note holders

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods Inc. announced to holders of its 6.625 percent senior notes due in 2022 that the company expects a change of control to occur when the proposed acquisition of Smithfield by Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. closes Sept. 26.

After the deal closes, holders of the senior notes will have the right to require the company to buy all or a portion of the notes at a price of 101 percent of the principal amount plus any accrued and unpaid interest up to the date of purchase, Smithfield said. The company made the offer "in contemplation of, and conditioned on," the closing of the deal with Hong Kong-based Shuanghui.

A special shareholder vote is scheduled for Sept. 24, and it is believed the acquisition has enough votes for the deal to pass. Two corporate governance advisory firms – Toronto, Ontario-based Glass Lewis & Co. and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) – advised Smithfield shareholders to approve the deal with Shuanghui. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved the proposed acquisition on Sept. 6.

Jeffrey Smith, CEO of Starboard Value LP, a New York-based hedge fund, said the company plans to vote against the proposed buyout. Starboard was trying to assemble a counter offer. Starboard owns a 5.7 percent stake in Smithfield.
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