China Buys Largest Pork Processor in the World for $4.7 Billion


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that China’s biggest meat processor made a $4.7 billion deal to obtain Smithfield Foods Inc. a deal that marks the largest Chinese takeover of a company in American and highlights the Asian nation’s transformed resolve to grab up foreign assets.

Based in Smithfield, Virginia

Based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, this company is the leaders in packaged meats with brands including Smithfield®, Nathan’s Famous®, Armour®, Farmland®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, John Morrell®, Kretschmar®, Eckrich®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Carando®, and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is dedicated to offering great food in a managed way by maintaining vigorous animal care, employee safety, community involvement, environmental, and food safety and quality programs.


Founded in the early 1900s, as Smithfield Packing Company and opened by Joseph Luter and son, this company is known as the largest pork producers in the world. They have over 500 farms in the U.S., another 2,000 self-governing contract farms around the country all growing Smithfield’s pigs. Outside the United State, the company has plants in 5 countries – worldwide these company employees 50,200 people in 2016 and the company reported an annual income of $14 billion.

Accelerated growth

Smithfield Foods began accelerated growth in 1981 after they first bought Gwaltney of Smithfield, followed by 40 companies between then and 2008, including Eckrich, John Morrell, Premium Standard Farms, Farmland Foods of Kansas, Circle Four Farms of Utah, and Murphy Family Farms of North Carolina. They developed a highly advanced pig production of restricting thousands of pigs in huge barns known as ‘concentrated animal feeding operations’ and managing this growth of these pigs from birth to packing.

In 2006

In 2006 Smithfield:

  • managed 27 million more pigs
  • slaughtered 15 million pigs a year
  • produced over six billion pounds of pork
  • Killed 114,300 pigs each day.

This made it the largest slaughtering operation in the United States in 2007.

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