SMITHFIELD, Va., Sept. 10, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE / NEWS RELEASE) -- 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 www.smithfieldfoods.com.