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Smithfield Foods


said Tuesday that it signed an agreement to acquire

Sara Lee's

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European meats business for $575 million, plus the assumption of certain pension-related liabilities.

Smithfield plans to complete and finance the acquisition through a joint venture with Oaktree Capital Management, an investment-advisory firm. The transaction should close by the end of September. Sara Lee said last month it was holding exclusive talks with Smithfield about the operation.

"The Sara Lee business is well-positioned with strong brands and broad distribution and is an important player in processed meats in Western Europe," Smithfield said. Smithfield intends to contribute its Jean Caby operations to the joint venture with Oaktree.

Smithfield's shares were trading at $27.95, up 24 cents. Sara Lee was down 36 cents at $15.99.

This story was created through a joint venture between and IRIS.