Starboard Couldn’t Find Anyone Hungry for Smithfield

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While the upcoming $4.7 billion deal between Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) and Shuanghui International has received plenty of opposition from lawmakers, farmers, consumers, and food safety groups, its biggest opponent was Smithfield shareholder Starboard Value. Starboard believes Smithfield could have gotten much more than the $34 per share offered by Shuanghui had the world’s largest producer of pork decided to split up.

But Starboard has been unable to find a better offer for Smithfield and so will support the Shuanghui acquisition, the largest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company, at a shareholder vote next week, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“In light of the restrictions imposed by the merger agreement between the Issuer and Shuanghui, and the requirement of structuring a cash bid from a single entity, it proved challenging for the bidder group to formalize and deliver an alternative proposal prior to the special meeting,” Starboard said in a filing seen by the Journal on Friday. “While we are confident that the Issuer could have received value in excess of that available pursuant to the Proposed Merger, we are not able to offer shareholders an alternative proposal at this time.”

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