Smithfield Foods owner nixes IPO

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Chinese pork giant WH Group, which bought Smithfield Foods last year, is shelving its $5.3 billion Hong Kong IPO as investor demand sags amid rocky financial markets, the company said Tuesday.

The decision to abandon the share offering complicates the company's efforts to pay off loans it took out to complete the takeover of Smithfield, a deal that turned it into a global butcher with the means to source cheap American pork to feed rising demand in China.

“In light of deteriorating market conditions and recent excessive market volatility, the company ... has decided that the global offering will not proceed at this time,” it said in a brief statement posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange's website.

A company spokeswoman in Hong Kong declined to comment.

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