Zhongpin May Attract Private Equity Takeover Bid, Chardan Says

Zhongpin Inc., a Chinese pork processor listed in the U.S., may attract a takeover bid or investments from global food companies seeking to tap China’s growing demand for meat.

“We believe the long-term opportunity for consolidation within the Chinese food processing industry is too attractive for Zhongpin not to attract either a private bid or investment from an international partner,” Tim Tiberio, a New York-based analyst for Chardan Capital Markets LLC, who has a “buy” rating on the stock, said in a report today.

Along with exploring business relationships with companies like Tyson Foods Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp., Changge-based Zhongpin may also be considering proposals to take the company private, Tiberio said.

As the Chinese population grows in size and prosperity, it is consuming more meat. Per capita pork consumption in China has jumped 18 percent to 38 kilograms (84 pounds) in 2010 from 32.3 kilograms in 2007, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Zhongpin rose 7 cents to $8.23 on Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 4 p.m. The shares have fallen 60 percent this year.

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