The shareholders of Smithfield Foods voted overwhelmingly on September 24 to approve the proposed strategic combination with Shuanghui International Holdings Limited. At a special meeting of Smithfield shareholders, more than 96 percent of the votes cast were voted in favor of the transaction, which represents about 76 percent of Smithfield's total outstanding shares of common stock as of the record date.
Under the agreement, Shuanghui International, China's largest meat processor, would assume ownership of Smithfield, the world's largest pig producer and pork processor, headquartered in Smithfield, Va. The deal was initially announced on May 29.
"We are pleased with the outcome of today's vote and thank all of our shareholders for their support," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield. "This is a great transaction for all Smithfield stakeholders, as well as for American farmers and U.S. agriculture. The partnership is all about growth, and about doing more business at home and abroad. It will remain business as usual - only better - at Smithfield, and we look forward to embarking on this new chapter."
According to the agreement, Smithfield shareholders will receive $34 per share in cash for each share of Smithfield common stock that they own. Upon closing of the transaction, Smithfield's common stock will cease to be publicly traded and the company will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, operating as Smithfield Foods. Subject to customary closing conditions, the company expects to complete the combination by September 26.