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Hedge fund: Smithfield Foods should get more than $4.7B price tag

CUDAHY, WI (WTAQ) - A New York hedge fund says Smithfield Foods should be sold for more than the $4.7 billion that a Chinese firm plans to buy it for.

Smithfield, which owns the Patrick Cudahy meat plant near Milwaukee, plans to sell its entire business to China’s Shuanghui Company.

The Starboard Value hedge fund, which owns almost 6 percent of Smithfield stock, says the firm could attract more money if it was broken up into three parts and sold separately.

Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith says that if Smithfield was broken up into its pork production, pork processing, and international business units, they could get a combined $44 to $55 a share instead of $34 offered by the Chinese firm.

You might remember that Starboard Value also used its weight as a stockholder to claim that Wausau Paper should leave Wisconsin, and focus on the production of paper towels for public restrooms.

Instead, Wausau sold its mills in Rhinelander and Mosinee this spring to an equity firm that will keep running the plants and preserve hundreds of jobs.