Starboard Ends Effort To Thwart Smithfield Deal

Sep 20 2013 | 12:17pm ET

After months of trying to find a better offer for Smithfield Foods, Starboard Value is giving up and getting on board with the pork-producer's $4.7 billion deal with China's Shuanghui International Holdings.

The hedge fund said today it would vote in favor of the Shuanghui deal, removing the last hurdle in the way of its approval. Starboard said it still had "indications of interest" from potential buyers and that it was confident that another offer would have been richer than Shuanghui's, it has decided that the restrictions written into the current deal, among other obstacles, had pushed it into the "yes" camp.

"At this time, unless another proposal emerges, we plan on voting in favor of the proposed merger," Starboard said.

Earlier this month, Starboard had urged its fellow investors to vote against the Shuanghui deal on Sept. 24 in hopes that a better offer would materialize. Few if any appear to have done so; early voting has been overwhelmingly in favor of the deal.

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