Smithfield Foods Inc shareholders on Tuesday approved the pork giant's $4.7 billion sale to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd (000895.SZ) in what is shaping up as the biggest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm.
The closely watched transaction, valued at $7.1 billion including debt, is expected to close by September 26.
The deal, which aims to satisfy China's increasing appetite for pork, marries two of the world's largest pork producers and had faced scrutiny over China's high-profile food safety failures, concerns over U.S. pork supplies and U.S. national security.
But earlier this month, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment cleared the way for the deal, removing an important hurdle.
More than 96 percent of the votes cast at a special Smithfield shareholder meeting on Tuesday were in favor of the acquisition. The votes cast represented 76 percent of Smithfield's outstanding common shares, the company said in a statement.
Anybody else worried about this? First of all, there's no way I'm eating anything packaged or processed by Smithfield now. I can only assume that they're doing this because the Chinese can't solve their own food contamination issues (cadmium-ridden meat or pesticide-laced milk, anyone?) How about finding maggots in your Shanghui sausage? Yum!