April 17, 2012

 

Zhongpin to assess buyout proposal from CEO Xianfu Zhu

 

 

Zhongpin Inc. has formed a special committee to evaluate a preliminary offer from the company's CEO to buy out shareholders and take Zhongpin private.

 

Its stock added US$0.32, or 3.3%, to US$9.81 in morning trading.

 

CEO Xianfu Zhu submitted a nonbinding proposal to buy all of the company's outstanding shares for US$13.50 each in cash, Zhongpin said in late March. Zhu already owned about 17.5% of the company's stock, Zhongpin said.

 

Based on the number of shares outstanding, the deal is worth about US$418 million.

 

Zhongpin said that the special committee is made up of three independent directors, and it has hired law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as its legal adviser. The committee also intends to hire independent financial advisers.

 

The group has not made any decision with respect to the company's response to Zhu's offer, Zhongpin said.

 

Zhongpin sells pork products, vegetables and fruits in China. Its distribution network in China included about 3,400 retail outlets as of the end of last year.

 

The company, a Chinese pork and produce processor, also exports to Europe and other Asian countries.