September 26, 2003



Canadian Maple Leaf To Buy Smithfield


Canadian food processor Maple Leaf Foods has agreed to acquire Smithfield Foods' Canadian food processing subsidiary Schneider Corporation for US$378m, including any outstanding debt.


Smithfield said the purchase price represents nine times Schneider's net earnings in fiscal 2003.


Smithfield acquired a 63% interest in Schneider in November 1998 in a share exchange valued at $70m, plus $57m in debt. In November 2001 the company completed the acquisition in a share exchange valued at $51m.


Ontario-based Schneider had sales of C$1.24bn (US$0.92bn) and earnings from operations of C$54.1m for the fiscal year ended 27 April. It employs some 5,000 people at its 20 Canadian facilities.