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Shuanghui to share ownership of Spain-based meat processor

Updated: 2013-12-25 07:02
By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai ( China Daily)

Shuanghui to share ownership of Spain-based meat processor

Shuanghui's meat products at a supermarket in Xuchang, Henan province. Shuanghui became Spanish processor Campofrio's largest shareholder after acquiring Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc for a record-breaking $4.7 billion in September. [Geng Guoqing / for China Daily] 

China's frozen food company Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd and Sigma Alimentos SA de CV said in a joint statement on Monday they have reached an agreement to share ownership of Spanish meat processor Campofrio.

Shuanghui is China's largest meat processor. Shuanghui became Campofrio's largest shareholder when it acquired Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc for a record-breaking $4.7 billion in September 2013.

Previously, the Chinese meat processor said it was considering plans to reduce its stake in Campofrio to below 30 percent.

Under the deal, Shuanghui will hold 37 percent of Campofrio, while Sigma will take an initial 44.7 percent.

Shuanghui is pleased to work with the highly respected team at Sigma, with the shared vision of solidifying Campofrio's leading position in Europe and strengthening its ability to serve the global market with quality, nutritious and safe food products, Shuanghui International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wan Long said in a statement.

Shuanghui will appoint the deputy chairman and two members of Campofrio's seven-strong board, while Sigma will appoint Campofrio's chairman and three other board members, the agreement said.

For regulatory reasons, Sigma will raise its offer for Campofrio shares from 6.8 euros ($9.30) to 6.9 euros apiece.

Campofrio saw revenue of 1.39 billion euros in the first nine months of 2013, according to its latest financial report.

In November, Reuters reported that Shuanghui International planned to be listed on the Hong Kong exchange by the second quarter of 2014, and six banks were mandated as underwriters for the offering.

The size of the upcoming deal is about $6 billion depending on market conditions, Reuters said, quoting a source it said was familiar with the matter.

An initial public offering would allow Shuanghui to pay down debt from the $4.7 billion Smithfield acquisition.

"Shuanghui International intends to launch initial public offerings but has not finalized details of the listing," Securities Daily reported on Tuesday, quoting Wan.

Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International has a majority shareholding in Shenzhen-listed Henan Shuanghui Development, China's largest meat-processing business, and owns Smithfield Foods, a global food company with a presence in 12 countries.

The share price of Shuanghui Development gained 2.53 percent Tuesday.