Maple Leaf Gains as Shuanghui Buys Pork Producer

Maple Leaf Foods Inc., the Canadian meat processor, climbed the most in nine months after China’s biggest pork producer agreed to buy Smithfield Foods Inc. for about about $4.72 billion to meet Chinese demand for pork.

Maple Leaf rose 4.5 percent to C$12.97 at the close in Toronto, the biggest increase since Aug. 1. Before today, the shares had gained 3.7 percent this year.

Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. agreed to pay a 31 percent premium over the Smithfield, Virginia-based producer’s closing share price yesterday to secure fresh supplies amid rising pork consumption in China. Smithfield’s livestock unit is the world’s largest hog producer, bringing about 15.8 million of the animals to market a year.

A reorganization at Maple Leaf and a 2012 acquisition have made the company a “leader in hog production in Canada,” according to its website. Maple Leaf, which also makes bread, pasta and frozen-food products, has a market value of C$1.82 billion ($1.76 billion).

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