This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Identity Swap for Smithfield's New Chinese Boss

BEIJING (TheStreet) -- This week's decision by Smithfield Food's parent Shuanghui International to recast its identity with a new, more innocuous name -- WH Group -- has set the stage for what could be an initial public offering by the Chinese company later this year on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

A marketing makeover might also help American consumers forget the largest U.S. pork processor is now a subsidiary of a Chinese meatpacker with a checkered food-safety record.

"The renaming underscores the company's aspirations to solidify its leading position in the global pork industry, offering consumers worldwide animal protein products meeting high standards in quality, taste, variety and safety," the company said in a Tuesday press release that pictured the new WH logo alongside the old Shuanghui symbol.

Last September, in the largest-ever Chinese takeover of an American company, privately held Shuanghui bought out Smithfield's shareholders for US$ 4.72 billion. It also assumed about US$ 2.38 billion in debt.

According to Chinese media, WH is hoping to raise up to US$6 billion through a Hong Kong IPO as early as April.

Smithfield's new owner promised no major changes for the Virginia-based producer and seller of bacon, ham and other pork products under several brand names including Gwaltney, Armour and Farmland. Plans call for selling more Smithfield products in China, the world's leading pork-eating nation.

But critics of the buyout have pointed to China's years of food safety problems, including a Shuanghui scandal that rocked the country three years ago, and potential risks for American consumers.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
SFD $0.00 0.00%
AAPL $131.16 -1.10%
FB $80.94 -1.20%
GOOG $553.75 -0.29%
TSLA $229.87 -0.73%

Markets

DOW 18,074.67 +36.70 0.20%
S&P 500 2,112.07 +3.15 0.15%
NASDAQ 5,060.6130 +0.3670 0.01%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs