This week Shuanghau International Holdings Inc. announced it has signed a $4 billion loan agreement from a consortium of eight banks, part of the financing the Chinese pork giant needs to acquire Smithfield Foods, according to a Shuanghau news release.
China’s Global Times reports that the agreement was originally signed on Friday and includes a $2.5 billion three-year loan and $1.5 billion five-year loan.
In a statement sent to Global Times, Shuanghui Chairman Wan Long said that the company is encouraged by the financial support and trust of banks in China and abroad and would make all efforts in expanding globally.
However, while the Smithfield purchase marks an important step for Shuanghau’s internationalization, Yan Qiang, a partner of Beijing-based Hejun Consulting, expressed concerns over the company’s capital flowers.
"Shuanghui is a large company in China, but does not make too much profit, as the profit margin of domestic food industry is not high - usually no more than 10 percent," said Yan, adding that it is likely to turn to capital market, such as an IPO, to pay off the loans in the future.
Starboard Value LP, an investor in Smithfield Foods, Inc., is continuing its efforts to derail the deal. The Wall Street Journal shows that Starboard has received indications of interest in the pork producer that imply a value “substantially” above the purchase price Shuanghui has agreed to pay.
On Tuesday Starboard said in a letter to Smithfield shareholders that it plans to vote against the deal and is working with possible buyers for an all-cash proposal to outbid Shuanghui. See, “Starboard Stirs Pot on Smithfield's Deal With China's Shuanghui.”