Kelsey Ryan The Wichita Eagle
The sale of Smithfield Foods to a Chinese company means a Wichita meat processing plant will have a new parent company.
Smithfield Foods, the parent company of Farmland Foods, is being purchased by Chinese meat processer Shuanghui International Holdings for about $4.72 billion, the company announced Wednesday.
Farmland, which has locations in 11 cities in nine states and is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., operates one of its processing plants in Wichita, 2323 S. Sheridan.
The local plant, which employs 475, produces deli meats, hams, hotdogs and processed sausage, according to Farmland's website.
Jason Aseniero, Wichita plant manager, referred all questions to Smithfield's corporate office.
In a recorded conference call that took place Wednesday morning, Smithfield President and CEO C. Larry Pope said the merger was unanimously supported by the board of directors of both companies.
Smithfield shareholders still have to approve the deal, which may also be reviewed by U.S. regulators.
"(This will have) no impact on how we do business operations in America and around the world," Pope said.
He said the transition will not affect jobs, close facilities or locations. And he said Shuanghui has agreed to honor all collective bargaining, wage and benefit packages that are in place.
The total value for the deal is $7.1 billion, according to a news release from Smithfield. The move will turn the company private.
The companies expect close the deal in the second half of 2013.