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Shareholder: Smithfield sale undervalues company

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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