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Maple Leaf a takeover target: reports

The Wall Street Journal and the Globe and Mail are reporting that Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods is a potential takeover target for a number of international companies.

The WSJ reported Wednesday that U.S. meat packing giant Smithfield Foods, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said it submitted an offer March 25 in connection with a “potential packaged meats acquisition,” which was rejected April 10.

Smithfield’s filing said it had, since January, contemplated and evaluated “a potentially significant acquisition of a large business in the packaged meats sector.”

Smithfield, in its filing, also said its board met in April to discuss options including “the acquisition of a large business in the packaged meats sector with which Smithfield had already had preliminary discussions.”

The WSJ and the Globe report that sources familiar with the matter confirmed the offer was for Toronto-based Maple Leaf.

Smithfield announced last month it had agreed to a US$4.7 billion takeover by China’s Shuanghui International.

The Globe reported Thursday that the sources familiar with the company said a number of international firms have expressed interest in acquiring some or all of Maple Leaf — including U.S. food producers Kraft Foods and Hormel Foods and Mexican baked goods company Grupo Bimbo.

The potential buyers are said to be on the lookout for acquisitions to help supply the growing meat market in Asia. — Network

Related stories:
Chinese packer to buy U.S. pork giant Smithfield, May 29, 2013
Maple Leaf loss widens on lower meat sales, May 2, 2013

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