Shareholders vote next month on the merger of Smithfield Foods and Chinese meat processor Shuanghui International. A Gannett newspaper story says the vote September 24 is another step to complete the $4.7 billion dollar transaction announced in May. Smithfield’s board of directors has recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the deal that the companies expect to finalize later this year.
Shareholders don’t necessarily have the last word. The deal needs antitrust clearance as well as approval by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS), which reviews such transactions for their effect on national security.
CFIUS initially conducted a 30-day review into the merger, but extended the process for an additional 45 days without saying why the extra time was necessary.
Smithfield has assured skeptical Washington lawmakers that jobs, food safety and the U.S. food supply will be maintained following the sale. The firm also says the deal gives U.S. pork producers greater access to China and other Asian countries.