Smithfield Buys Saag’s Specialty Meats and Farmer John to Diversify Consumer Base

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Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE: SFD) is buying competitor Clougherty Packing LLC, a manufacturer of two branded pork and meats brands, from Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) for $145 million. The deal includes the target's two facilities plus three additional farm operations in California, Arizona and Wyoming.

Clougherty Packing, established by the Clougherty family and based in Southern California, owns food brands Farmer John and Saag’s Specialty Meats. Farmer Johns was founded in 1931 and makes pork products such as fresh-cut loin, lunch meat, breakfast sausage, bacon, and boneless and bone-in cooked ham. Saag’s Specialty Meats is a premium brand of deli meats and specialty sausage products made without any artificial flavors, colors, fillers, extenders or monosodium glutamate, according to the company. Clougherty Packing packages and distributes the products of its subsidiaries to brand retailers such as: Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST), Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Food 4 Less of Southern California Inc., and Stater Bros. Holding Inc. The target sponsors the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team and makes team’s Dodger Dog.

“By folding Farmer John into our operations, we are better positioned to take advantage of our long-term strategic growth goals, which includes an increasingly diversified customer and consumer base and greater supply chain efficiency,” states Smithfield Foods CEO Kenneth Sullivan.

Smithfield Foods is a U.S. meat and hog processing company with domestic and international facilities across nearly 26 states. The buyer’s brands consist of: Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan's Famous, Farmland, Armour, John Morrell, Cook's, Kretschmar, Gwaltney, Curly's, Margherita, Carando, Healthy Ones, Krakus, Morliny and Berlinki. Smithfield Foods reported approximately $1.34 billion in gross profit for nine months ending in Q3 2016.

Hormel, located in Austin, Minnesota, was founded in 1891 as a seller of pork and meat products. Driven by changes in consumer preferences for food, Hormel has been expanding beyond traditional meat-based options – into non-meat proteins, organic meats and non-meat proteins, and into ethnic-style protein meals. For example, the company recently purchased nut butter producer Justin’s LLC to grow beyond traditional meats and acquired natural meat distributor Applegate Farms in 2015. In 2014, Hormel purchased Muscle Milk maker CytoSport Inc. Hormel won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2013 Mid-Market Award for Deal of the Year for the $700 million acquisition of the Skippy brand. Hormel’s vice president of corporate development Fred Halvin spoke to Mergers & Acquisitions about the company’s efforts to focus on segments that attract the growing population of millennials and Hispanics.

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