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Starboard Said to Seek Group to Form Rival Smithfield Bid

Starboard Value LP, an investor in Smithfield Foods Inc., approached buyout firms and meat processors to encourage them to form a bidding group to derail a Chinese takeover, said two people familiar with the process.

The activist investor is challenging Hong Kong’s Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., which agreed in May to buy Smithfield for $4.7 billion. Under Starboard’s plan, the group would bid together and break up Smithfield after the takeover, said the people, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private.