SMITHFIELD, Va. -- Smithfield Foods Inc. has announced that it has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the Cook's ham business of ConAgra Foods Packaged Foods Company Inc. from ConAgra Foods Inc.



The purchase price for the transaction was approximately $260 million, subject to adjustment for working capital of the business as of closing.



Cook's, based in Lincoln, Neb., is a major producer of both traditional and spiral-sliced smoked bone-in hams, as well as corned beef and other smoked meat items sold to supermarket chains and independent grocers throughout the United States and Canada. Manufacturing facilities are located in Lincoln, as well as in Grayson, Ky., and Kansas City, Mo. Cook's annual sales are about $330 million.



"Cook's fits perfectly into our strategy of growing our higher-value processed meats products and utilizing our raw materials internally," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield president and chief operating officer. "This is a significant step in our goal of utilizing internally all of the hams from the hogs that we process."



Pope assured the customers and suppliers of Cook's that it would be business as usual for them.



"Not only do we intend to keep these plants open, we hope to grow the business over time," he said.



Smithfield Foods is a leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs.



SOURCE: Smithfield Foods Inc. via PR Newswire.