China's WH Group to Buy Romanian Meat Processors

China is already (through Smithfield) the largest pork producer in Romania. Now it is expanding more into processing, with the acquisition of two Romanian meat processors.

China's WH Group, the world’s largest pork supplier, announced that its unit Smithfield Foods would buy two packaged meats manufacturers in Romania, Elit and Vericom, thus expanding its operations in Europe.

U.S.-based Smithfield has agreed to buy a 100% stake in Elit SRL and Vericom SRL for an undisclosed sum, the Chinese pork producer said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The deals are conditional on obtaining approval from antitrust authorities.

The two Romanian companies operate three packaged meats manufacturing units and have five distribution centers in Romania. They sell about 25,000 tons of packaged meats each year, with the capacity to grow to 45,000 tons, to 12,000 customers through a nationwide distribution network.

WH Group expects the acquisitions to give Smithfield a leading position in the Romanian packaged meats market with a branded portfolio of products sold in the higher margin traditional channel.

In August, WH Group through Smithfield acquired Pini Polska, Hamburger Pini and Royal Chicken in Poland, as part of its European expansion efforts.