Sep 27, 2013 01:37 PM

Shuanghui Completes Purchase of Smithfield Foods

(Beijing) – Meat processor Shuanghui International Holdings said on September 26 it had completed the acquisition of U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods.

The deal is worth US$ 7.1 billion, of which US$ 4 billion came from an eight-member consortium led by Bank of China (BOC). It is the most expensive acquisition by a non-state Chinese company overseas and also the largest Chinese investment in the United States.

Chen Siqing, vice president of the BOC, said the loans are a classic example of the bank utilizing its global network and multi-service platform to serve the national strategy of encouraging Chinese companies to "go out," or make investments abroad.

The bank's subsidiaries, BOC International (China) Ltd. and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd., participated in the deal as well.

BOC said it learned of Shuanghui's plan to buy Smithfield in early March and immediately started arranging for cooperation. It was in contract with nearly Chinese and foreign 30 banks to discuss forming a syndicate to finance the acquisition.

Shuanghui proposed buying all of Smithfield's circulating stock for US$ 4.7 billion at US$ 34 per share. It will also assume the firm's US$ 2.4 billion in debt.

Analysts say the acquisition will help Shuanghui gain experience in pig breeding, branding and industry chain management, and get access to abundant meat resources. Smithfield will be financially stronger and better positioned in global competitions.

Smithfield is the largest pork producer in the United States in terms of output. Its total assets as of the end of January were US$ 7.6 billion. Profits have been unstable.

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