Smithfield terminates Campofrio bid

by Keith Nunes
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SMITHFIELD, VA. — Smithfield Foods, Inc. has terminated its effort to acquire the remaining shares of the European meat processor Campofrio Food Group S.A.

“While the acquisition of Campofrio would have furthered Smithfield’s long-term strategy of becoming a leading global consumer packaged meats company, we feel it is in the best interest of our shareholders to terminate negotiations at this time,” said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. “Our decision has been influenced by numerous factors, including continued adverse economic conditions in Europe that show few signs of abating, and the recent decline in our stock price, which has made the proposed transaction more difficult to finance on a basis that is accretive to our shareholders.

“As Campofrio’s largest shareholder, we remain committed to holding our 37% stake in Campofrio and supporting the company’s continued growth and development as Europe’s leading packaged meats company. In particular, we will continue to look for ways to capture and enhance synergies between Campofrio and Smithfield for the companies' mutual benefit, despite the inability merge the companies at the present time.”

In early April, Smithfield Foods announced it was in talks with Pedro Balive, the chairman of Campofrio, to acquire the remaining approximate 50% of Campofrio Food Group S.A. for €9.5 ($13.60) per share.

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