Thai CP Foods looks to buy assets in Europe, U.S.

BANGKOK Thu May 30, 2013 2:46am EDT

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BANGKOK May 30 (Reuters) - Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl, controlled by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, is looking for opportunities to buy assets in Europe and the United States after a failed attempt to bid for U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc.

"The global economic crisis has prompted many companies to approach us to sell assets. We are in talks on several deals," President and CEO Adirek Sripratak told Reuters.

Adirek said CP Foods had approached Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank in prepration for financing a Smithfield deal before a Chineses firm won the bid.

China's privately owned Shuanghui International agreed to buy Smithfield Foods for $4.7 billion in cash to feed growing Chinese appetite for U.S. pork, in a deal that has stirred concern from U.S. politicians.

CP Foods, the flagship of Dhanin's Charoen Pokphand Group, has been aggressive on foreign expansion with operations in China, Vietnam, India, the Philippines and Russia.

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