Monday, July 15, 2013

Beaver County hog farm part of $7.1 billion Chinese deal

Circle Four Farms, a massive hog operation in Milford, is part of a $7.1-billion buyout that would be the largest-ever Chinese takeover of a U.S. firm. The southwestern Utah farm each year raises and markets 1.2 million hogs — a number that is about 185 times larger than Beaver County’s human population.

Its parent company is the Virginia-based Smithfield Farms, whose chief executive the Senate Agriculture Committee questioned about the Chinese deal this week. The acquisition by the Hong Kong-based meat processor Shuanghui International would give it control of the world’s largest pork supplier, which contracts with 2,000 U.S. producers and operates 460 farms, including Circle Four, which is Smithfield’s largest hog operation. Utah officials echo concerns raised by Senate committee members that the takeover poses risks to the U.S. food supply. Salt Lake Tribune