SMITHFIELD, Va., Sept. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. ("Smithfield") (NYSE:SFD) announced today that Institutional Shareholder Services ("ISS"), an independent proxy voting and corporate governance advisory firm, recommends that Smithfield shareholders vote "FOR" the proposed strategic combination with Shuanghui International Holdings Limited at Smithfield's special meeting of shareholders scheduled for September 24, 2013. In recommending that Smithfield shareholders vote "FOR" the proposed strategic combination, ISS stated in its September 11, 2013 report:
"The $34.00 per share cash offer provides shareholders with a considerable and certain premium to the company's standalone trading price. The certainty of the deal's closure has also improved considerably over the last several months, as Shuanghui secured its committed financing and the merger received regulatory approval under HSR and CFIUS. Given the board's eagerness to consummate the merger before year end, the receipt of the consideration in the near future appears increasingly certain."*The ISS report also stated:
"ISS recommends that clients vote FOR the merger with Shuanghui in light of the considerable premium offered by the deal and the certainty of value provided by the all-cash consideration."*"We are pleased that the pending transaction has been endorsed by ISS," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield. "ISS recognizes the significant value that the proposed combination will deliver to all Smithfield shareholders. We look forward to completing this transaction and beginning a new chapter in Smithfield's long and successful history. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I urge all Smithfield shareholders to vote "FOR" the proposal to approve the merger agreement." The special meeting of Smithfield shareholders is scheduled for Tuesday, September 24, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The meeting will be held at McGuireWoods LLP at One James Center, 901 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia. All shareholders of record of Smithfield's common stock as of the close of business on August 5, 2013, will be entitled to vote their shares at the meeting either in person or by proxy.