News | April 19, 1999

Smithfield Foods Unit Acquires Interest in Canadian Mitchell's Gourmet Foods

Schneider Corporation, a Canadian unit of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has acquired a 32% interest and options to acquire control of Mitchell's Gourmet Foods, Inc., a full line pork processor based in Saskatoon, Canada. Schneider will enter into a strategic alliance to jointly proceed with a C$50 million expansion of Mitchell's pork processing operations, with plans to complete the project during the next 24 months.

"This will be the largest expansion in the 59-year history of Mitchell's Gourmet Foods Inc. (formerly Intercontinental Packers), and will make our Saskatoon plant one of Canada's largest and most technologically advanced," said Stu Irvine, president and COO of Mitchell's Gourmet Foods Inc,

The expansion will involve the construction of a 140,000 sqft, stand-alone, state-of-the-art, value-added meat processing and production facility, adjacent to the company's current Saskatoon plant. The expansion will result in larger production runs for many product groups, which will lower the cost per unit of production and increase the company's productivity. Construction will begin this summer and be completed by 2001.

Earlier this week, Smithfield announced that it has acquired control of Animex, Poland's largest pork company, and plans to spend more than $150 million in Poland over the next few years helping the company upgrade its plants and to develop modern hog production there.

In February, Smithfield spent $500 million to buy Carroll's Foods, the second-largest hog producer in the U.S.

Schneider, Canada's second-largest pork processor, is 63%-owned by Smithfield Foods. It makes and sells a wide variety of processed meats, fresh pork and other food products.

Smithfield Foods is the largest vertically integrated producer and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States.

Mitchell's Gourmet Foods, Canada's third-largest processed meats company, markets a broad range of products under the Mitchell's, Olympic Meats and various private labels. Products include bacon, hams, luncheon meats, corned beef, pastrami, kabobs, dry and smoked sausage, hot dogs and pizza toppings.