Smithfield Foods Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of the Cook's ham business of ConAgra Foods Packaged Foods Co. from ConAgra Foods.



Cook's, based in Lincoln, Neb., is a producer of traditional and spiral-sliced smoked bone-in hams, 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 Grayson, Ky., and Kansas City, Mo. The company's annual sales are about $330 million.



The transaction is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust clearance and other customary closing conditions. Smithfield expects to complete the transaction during its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends April 30, 2006.



With sales of $11 billion, Smithfield is a leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs.



ConAgra Foods Inc. is one of North America's largest packaged food companies, serving consumer grocery retailers, as well as restaurants and other foodservice establishments.



SOURCE: Smithfield Foods, Inc. via PR Newswire.