Report: Shuanghui Group may buy Smithfield Foods

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 | Finance News

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Smithfield Foods jumped in premarket trading on a report that China's Shuanghui Group may be close to buying the world's biggest pork producer for between $4.5 billion and $5 billion.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources it did not name, said Wednesday that the potential transaction may be subject to review by the U.S.'s Committee on Foreign Investment. The report also said that Smithfield's board is concerned about the deal meeting the committee's review standards.

Smithfield's second-largest shareholder, Continental Grain Co., has been pushing Smithfield Foods Inc. to consider splitting itself up.

A representative for Smithfield Foods — whose brands include Armour and its namesake — could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Smithfield, Va., company's stock surged $6.02, or 23.2 percent, to $31.99 more than two hours before the market open.