Smithfield Sells Shares to China's COFCO Limited

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Smithfield Sells Shares to China's COFCO Limited

07/02/2008
Smithfield Foods Inc. enters into an agreement with COFCO Limited, China's largest national agricultural trading and processing company, for the sale of 7,000,000 shares, or 4.95 percent of Smithfield's common stock. The purchase price per share will be equal to the closing price of Smithfield's Common Stock on the pricing date for the offering of the company's Convertible Senior Notes, which was announced separately today. The company plans to use the proceeds of the sale to repay indebtedness and for other general corporate purposes.

"I am very pleased that COFCO has agreed to make this equity investment in Smithfield. We have been working closely together and this investment represents a significant step in cementing our relationship for the long term," says C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and CEO. "COFCO is a widely respected leader in China's food and agriculture industry. China is experiencing rapid growth in pork consumption and consumes more pork than the rest of the world combined. COFCO has introduced Smithfield to many opportunities in China and we look forward to continue working together." Pope adds.