Smithfield Foods, Inc. Tuesday announced that the shareholders of the company have voted overwhelmingly to approve its proposed acquisition by Shuanghui International Holdings Limited.
At a Special Meeting of Smithfield shareholders, more than 96% of the votes cast were in favor of the transaction, which represents approximately 76% of Smithfield's total outstanding shares of common stock as of the record date for the Special Meeting.
"We are pleased with the outcome of today's vote and thank all of our shareholders for their support," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield.
Pope called the deal a "great transaction" for 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," Pope said.
Despite Pope's outlook, the deal has received its share of criticism from some legislators, who say the deal will monopolize pork production and jeopardize food safety. Both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment reviewed the deal. CFIUS approved it earlier this month.
Under the terms of the agreement, Smithfield shareholders will receive $34 per share in cash for each share of Smithfield common stock that they own.
Upon closing of the transaction, Smithfield's common stock will cease to be publicly traded and the company will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, operating as Smithfield Foods.
Subject to customary closing conditions, the company expects to complete the deal by Sept. 26.