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Campofrio Rises on Report Shuanghui Is Considering Rival Bid

Campofrio Food Group SA rose as much as 5.8 percent after a report that shareholder Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. is considering a bid for the Spanish meat processor, challenging an offer by Sigma Alimentos.

The Chinese company is studying an offer, newspaper El Mundo reported, citing people close to the situation it didn’t name. Shuanghui said yesterday it signed an $8 billion non-binding funding agreement with Bank of China Ltd. as it seeks to expand, possibly through acquisitions. The Hong Kong-based company declined to comment on its Campofrio stake.

Sigma, a unit of Mexican conglomerate Alfa SAB, said Nov. 14 it’s bidding 675 million euros ($918 million), or 6.80 euros a share, to control Campofrio in what would be its first foray into Europe. Sigma has already acquired 45 percent of the Spanish company’s shares, according to Enrique Flores, a spokesman for Alfa. Shuanghui owns about 37 percent of Campofrio, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Sigma offer is “fixed” and the company does not have plans to raise it, Flores said in a telephone interview. Sigma said Nov. 14 it was forming an alliance with Campofrio Chairman Pedro Ballve.

Campofrio gained 2.8 percent to 7.40 euros at the trading close in Madrid, where the company is based. The stock closed at 6.15 euros on Nov. 13, the day before Sigma announced its bid.

Shares in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico-based Alfa climbed 0.7 percent to 38.20 pesos at 1:12 p.m. in Mexico City.

Foreign investors have begun to nibble on Spanish assets as the economy emerges from a five-year slump. Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, bought a stake in Spanish builder Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas SA in October. Polish lender Bank Zachodni WBK SA said this week it plans to a buy a stake in Santander Consumer Bank.

Shuanghui said in September it would reduce its stake in Campofrio to get under the 30 percent threshold that forces companies to offer to buy out other shareholders. Shuanghui, China’s biggest pork producer, inherited the stake when it bought Smithfield, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. this year.

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