SMITHFIELD, Va. – Fitch Ratings, a leading provider of credit ratings, commentary and research, has assigned Smithfield Foods Inc. an investment grade Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘BBB,’ with a stable outlook. Standard & Poor assigned Smithfield a ‘BBB-’ Corporate Credit Rating last October.
“We are pleased to achieve this rating from Fitch,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods. “This rating is a clear recognition of Smithfield’s continued strong operating performance, prudent financial management, the power of its integrated business model, and the clear benefits of its relationship with its parent company in setting a path towards future growth and success.”
Smithfield’s rating was upgraded one level due to the relationship with its parent company, Hong Kong-based WH Group. Fitch assigned a ‘BBB+’ stable rating to WH Group while Smithfield earned a stand-alone of ‘BBB-.’ During its analysis of the company, Fitch considered Smithfield's relationship with WH Group, which provides the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer with greater access to China, the largest and fastest growing pork market.