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Chinese firm addresses concerns about potential purchase of Smithfield Foods

CUDAHY, WI (WTAQ) - A normally-secretive Chinese company is trying to be unusually open as it seeks to buy the American meat packing giant Smithfield Foods.

Shuanghui International is offering $4.7 billion to buy the parent firm of Patrick Cudahy’s bacon plant in suburban Milwaukee.

A host of concerns have been raised over the proposed acquisition – including Chinese food safety scandals, and a report that a man from Thailand made over $3 million from trading Smithfield stock just before the recent sale announcement.

The chairman of the Chinese food operation, 72-year-old Wan Long, said Americans do not have anything to fear from the deal – and possibly a lot to gain. He said Smithfield has a very good control system for food safety, and Shaunghui hopes to make it better.

Wan said Smithfield’s brand would not change, and neither would its production sites or U.S. jobs – including the 1,000 workers at the Patrick Cudahy packaged meat plant in Cudahy.

Wan also expects the deal to go through, “without a hitch.”

Shaunghui said in advance it would submit the proposed deal for a U.S. government security review.