April 1 Smithfield Foods Inc, the
largest U.S. hog producer, said in a regulatory filing that
separating its hog production unit will make it less
competitive, responding to shareholder pressure to split up its
"Separation of hog production only will leave behind
cyclical fresh pork with packaged meats," the company said in a
investor presentation. ()
The company's shares were down 1.85 percent at $25.99 on the
New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
Reuters reported in March that Smithfield had hired Goldman
Sachs Group Inc to help it weigh options after a key
shareholder had urged the company to break itself up.
Continental Grain, an agribusiness company and one of its
biggest shareholders, had sent a letter to the board early in
March, urging it to consider splitting the company into three
JP Morgan analyst Ken Goldman said the company's latest move
indicates a potential struggle between Smithfield and certain
investors of the more activist variety.
"If Smithfield were still exploring the break-up option, why
would it issue this release, which appears to be a set of
arguments based on a thoughtful analysis to keep the company as
is," Goldman said.