Smithfield merger completed; bills introduced on packer ownership of livestock
Smithfield Foods, the nation’s largest pork packer and producer, announced on May 7 that the acquisition of Premium Standard Farms, the second largest producer and sixth largest packer, is complete. The merger brings Smithfield’s holdings to well over 1.1 million sows, over 20 percent of U.S. hog production and 31 percent of pork packing.
Initially, with the urging of farmers, farm and rural organizations, and members of Congress, the acquisition was put on hold while the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division investigated the impact of the transaction on competition in the pork sector. On May 4 Justice announced the closing of its investigation and their finding that the merger would not harm competition, consumers, or farmers.