SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods Inc. announced last week that China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Import & Export Corporation (COFCO) will buy 4.95 percent of Smithfield common stock.

COFCO, a major importer and exporter of food in China and owned by the Chinese government, will purchase about 7,000,000 common stock shares of the American pork producer.

"I am very pleased that COFCO has agreed to make this equity investment in Smithfield. We have been working closely together and this investment represents a significant step in cementing our relationship for the long term," stated C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and CEO.

Smithfield said it expects to close on an initial $63.1 million of the shares promptly following the closing of Smithfield's convertible notes offering. Settlement on the remainder of the shares will be subject to completion of Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review. The company will use the proceeds to reduce debt and general corporate needs.


Source: Smithfield Foods Inc.