Shareholder: Smithfield sale undervalues company

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2011 file photo, shows a Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas. Chinese meat processor Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. agreed Wednesday, May 29, 2013, to buy Smithfield Foods Inc. for approximately $4.72 billion in a deal that will take the world's biggest pork producer private. (AP Photo/LM Otero) LM Otero

NEW YORK One of Smithfield Foods' (SFD) largest shareholders says a $4.72 billion takeover bid from China's largest meat producer falls short of what the company would be worth if sold off piece by piece.

New York-based investment firm Starboard Value LP, which owns about 5.7 percent of Smithfield's common stock, estimated the Smithfield, Va.-based pork producer's value at $9 billion to $10.8 billion, or about $44 to $55 per share.

Under the deal struck last month with Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., Smithfield will sell itself for $34 per share. That deal remains subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Starboard said that while the deal with Shuanghui does offer some value, shareholders would be better served if the company focused on selling off its various divisions.

Smithfield shares rose 2 percent in premarket trading Monday.

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