Pork producer serves up biggest Chinese takeover of a US firm ever

The deal, which including debt values Smithfield Foods at $7.1 billion, represents the single largest takeover of a US company by a Chinese firm in history.

A series of high profile food scares in China has resulted in an ever-increasing demand for foreign food products in the country. Home to the world’s largest population, China is also the biggest consumer of pork on the planet.

Smithfield Foods, which owns the Farmland, Armour and Healthy Ones brands, said the deal will allow the firm to expand the sale of its brands abroad. "The partnership is all about growth, and about doing more business at home and abroad," Larry Pope, chief executive officer of Smithfield, said in a statement.