US farm groups worried about Smithfield deal
Fifteen farm groups have asked the Department of
Justice to examine the announced purchase of Premium Standard Farms (PSF) by
The groups, asking for scrutiny into the sale and relationship between
stakeholders in the two companies, comes after anti-trust worries, urged by Iowa
senators, on the announced deal.
Smithfield, the world's largest pork company, announced earlier this month
the company would buy PSF, which is the second-largest pork producer in the
The deal is worth $810 million and would give Smithfield a sow herd of
about 1 million head. Smithfield also would control about 31% of the nation's
The major complaint is that PSF's largest shareholder, ContiGroup, also has
a partnership with Smithfield, as ContiGroup and Smithfield merged their
cattle-feeding operations in 2005.
The expanding Smithfield company also faced criticism from human rights
activists last week, protesting against alleged abusive treatment of 5,500
predominantly Latinan and Afro-American workers, who would have been denied to
join a union.
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