Shareholders of Smithfield Foods (UNKNOWN: SFD.DL2 ) today overwhelmingly approved a takeover by China-based logistics, food, and flavoring provider Shuanghui International Holdings for $34 a share, Smithfield said in a statement today. The vote follows the May 29 announcement of the planned acquisition. Including the assumption of debt, the deal values Smithfield at $7.1 billion, making it the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm.
After tallying today's votes from approximately 76% of its shareholders, Smithfield said that "more than 96% of the votes cast were voted in favor of the transaction." The $34-per-share deal is equal to a 31% premium based on Smithfield's May 28 closing price of $25.97 a share, the day before the announcement that Shuanghui would acquire Smithfield.
Commenting on the vote, Smithfield President and CEO Larry Pope said:
This is a great transaction for all Smithfield stakeholders, as well as for American farmers and U.S. agriculture. The partnership is all about growth, and about doing more business at home and abroad. It will remain business as usual -- only better -- at Smithfield, and we look forward to embarking on this new chapter.
Following the closing of the deal, which is expected to happen on Thursday, Smithfield will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Shuanghui and will no longer be a publicly traded company.