Reuters is reporting that WH Group, the Chinese company that owns Smithfield Foods, is also seeking beef and poultry assets in the United States and Europe to purchase. The move would sharpen the company’s competition with Tyson Foods and JBS SA, the report states.
Smithfield Chief Executive Ken Sullivan told Reuters he is interested in the potential of diversifying into other meats to broaden the company's product portfolio, though no deals were imminent.
"We're a food company," he said. "No one said that we're strictly a pork company."
Sullivan did not provide further detail, but parent WH Group is looking for targets in beef and poultry in the United States and Europe, according to Luis Chein, WH Group's director of investor relations. He declined to name specific targets.
Chein added that it would make sense for the company to become vertically integrated in other proteins if it does make acquisitions, as the company has done in its pork business.