Green Asia

Chinese-owned pork producer Smithfield prepares for US listing -WSJ

Smithfield Foods’ Chinese owner WH Group is working with banks to take the U.S.-based pork producer public again in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Smithfield could list its shares as early as next year, the WSJ reported, adding the deliberations are ongoing and the timing could change.

Smithfield and WH Group did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

WH Group bought Smithfield in 2013 in a $4.7-billion deal aimed at tapping the massive supplies of U.S. meat for export to China.

Virginia-based Smithfield is set to permanently close 35 hog farm sites in Missouri and lay off 92 employees in October, according to a Missouri Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice in August.

The U.S. meat industry has struggled with declining profits and reduced demand from consumers squeezed by inflation and higher interest rates. Amid spiraling feed and labor costs, meat companies have struggled to predict demand for their products.

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