Campofrio-Groupe Smithfield Merger Completed

EU - Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced yesterday that the merger of Campofrio Alimentacion S.A. and Group Smithfield Holdings S.L. has been finalized. The new company will be known as Campofrio Food Group and will be listed on the Madrid and Barcelona Stock Exchanges.
calendar icon 18 December 2008
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The merger creates the largest pan-European company in the packaged meats sector and one of the five largest worldwide. The company is the market leader in Spain, France, Portugal and The Netherlands, and maintains an important presence in Romania, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium.

Smithfield Foods owns 37 per cent or approximately 37.8 million shares of the new company. Previously Smithfield owned 24 per cent of Campofrio and 50 per cent of Groupe Smithfield. Other significant shareholders are Oaktree Capital (24 per cent), Pedro and Fernando Ballve (12 per cent), Diaz Family and Luis Serrano (five per cent), Caja Burgos (four per cent) and QMC (two per cent). The remaining 16 per cent will be held by the public.

"This is a major step in Smithfield's strategy to grow and improve its global packaged meats presence. The companies have complimentary manufacturing and marketing platforms, presenting the opportunity for value creation and synergies," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield Foods president and chief executive officer. "The merger produces the leading player in the European packaged meats market, with leading brands in every market in which we operate," he said.

Mr Pope noted that this transaction converts Smithfield's Western European ventures into a more liquid investment, with its shares in the publicly-traded company having a market value of over $350 million, based on closing price on 2 December, 2008.

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