Smithfield Sets Sept. Shareholder Vote On Takeover

Mnet 179930 Smithfield Lead 3

SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) -- Smithfield Foods Inc. shareholders will vote on the company's takeover by a Chinese company next month.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the company disclosed plans for a Sept. 24 shareholders meeting in Richmond in a proxy statement filed Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The deal with Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. would be the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, valued at about $7.1 billion including debt. It requires the approval of the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews overseas transactions for national-security implications.

Officials of the Smithfield-based pork company have promoted the deal as opening the door to substantial increases in exports to China. Critics have voiced worry about persistent problems with food safety in China.

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