Smithfield Selling Beef Operations To Brazilian Company

SMITHFIELD (AP)  Smithfield Foods says it is selling its beef operations to a Brazilian company for 565 million dollars.

Virginia's Smithfield Foods is the fifth-largest U.S. beef producer. It is selling its operation to JBS SA.

The deal comes one day after National Beef Packing -- the nation's fourth-largest beef processor -- said it is being acquired by JBS for cash and stock deal worth $560 million.

Smithfield executives say that while outperforming the industry, its beef group has nevertheless been a relatively minor player. And it says the company has been unable to grow through acquisition or justify building a new plant.

Smithfield Beef processes more than 2 million head of cattle a year and its sales exceed $2.5 billion annually. It has major facilities in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Tolleson, Arizona; Plainwell, Michigan; and Souderton, Pennsylvania.