SMITHFIELD, Va., Sept. 10, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) today announced that its joint venture partner in Butterball, LLC has accepted Smithfield's offer to sell Smithfield's 49% interest in Butterball and its related turkey production assets.
Estimated net proceeds of the sale of approximately $175 million will be used to reduce debt. Closing for the sale, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to occur prior to calendar year end.
C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield, said "As previously stated, our minority ownership position in Butterball did not permit us to execute the growth strategy that we believe was necessary to fully develop the company to its potential. Accordingly, we are exiting the business, and will use the sale proceeds to further delever our balance sheet."
"We appreciate the support over the years of the customers, suppliers and associates of Butterball, as well as the associates of our turkey growing production facilities, and we wish the business well in the future," concluded Mr. Pope.
About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is the world's largest pork processor and hog producer, with revenues exceeding $11 billion in fiscal 2010. In the United States, the company is also the leader in turkey processing and numerous packaged meats categories. From national brands and regional powerhouses in the United States to some of the best-known European brands, Smithfield Foods products are prized by retail, foodservice, and deli customers alike. For more information, visit .
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This news release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. The forward-looking statements include statements concerning our outlook for the future, as well as other statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Our forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks and uncertainties include the availability and prices of live hogs, raw materials, fuel and supplies, food safety, livestock disease, live hog production costs, product pricing, the competitive environment and related market conditions, risks associated with our indebtedness, including cost increases due to rising interest rates or changes in debt ratings or outlook, hedging risk, operating efficiencies, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, access to capital, the cost of compliance with and changes to regulations and laws, including changes in accounting standards, tax laws, environmental laws, agricultural laws and occupational, health and safety laws, adverse results from on-going litigation, actions of domestic and foreign governments, labor relations issues, credit exposure to large customers, the ability to make effective acquisitions and successfully integrate newly acquired businesses into existing operations, our ability to effectively restructure portions of our operations and achieve cost savings from such restructurings and other risks and uncertainties described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2010. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements because actual results may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. Any forward-looking statements that we make speak only as of the date of such statements, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance, unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.
CONTACT: Smithfield Foods, Inc. Keira Ullrich (757) 365-3050 firstname.lastname@example.org