Reiterates Continued Commitment to Increase Shareholder Value
Previously Determined Continental Grain's Assessment of a Break-up to be "Inherently Flawed" Based on Rigorous Analysis
SMITHFIELD, Va., April 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) confirmed that it has received the presentation from Continental Grain Company. The company reiterates its commitment to review all alternatives to increase long-term value for all shareholders.Smithfield previously reviewed and responded to Continental Grain's March 7 th memorandum to the company's board of directors, which put forth many of the same points contained in today's presentation. The response can be found in Smithfield's April 1, 2013 investor presentation available here. C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer, commented: "Our number one priority is to create long-term value for our shareholders, and we welcome the perspectives of all of our investors. Consistent with this objective, we are continuing to review Continental Grain's presentation and will provide a specific response in due course. "Our board and management are focused on the implementation of our growth strategy that is working. We recently delivered the two best years of operating performance in our company's history, we have restructured and streamlined our Pork segment, drastically de-levered our balance sheet, returned significant cash to shareholders and reduced commodity exposure. As a result of our work, our stock price has nearly doubled since 2009 when Continental Grain resigned from our board. "Further, we believe that Continental Grain's analysis of the benefits of a divestiture of our Hog Production business and select European assets, which they have made before, is inherently flawed, based on an intensive and ongoing review of these and other alternatives by the board, management and our financial and legal advisors. "Smithfield's board, consisting of a balanced mix of directors who know our industry well, has a strong track record of taking aggressive action to enhance value for all shareholders."
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