Starboard Value LP, a New York investment firm that owns 5.7 percent of Smithfield Foods' common stock, says it will vote against the deal enabling China's Shuanghui International Holdings to take ownership of the world's largest pork processor. A vote among Smithfield shareholders to approve the acquisition has been scheduled for September 24.
Starboard Value LP stated that it wants Smithfield to take more time to seek other offers that would provide greater shareholder value, the Associated Press reported. Shuanghui, China's largest pork producer, has offered to buy Smithfield in a $7.1 billion deal, which was announced on May 29. But, Starboard said it has received written interest from other parties to buy Smithfield's assets for more than what Shuanghui offered. Starboard Value estimates Smithfield's value between $9 billion and $10.8 billion.
By expressing its intent to oppose the acquisition, Starboard Value hopes Smithfield will delay the vote.
If the vote to approve the deal passes, the acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.