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USA today reports that Smithfield Foods is selling its 49 percent stake in turkey producer Butterball to partner Maxwell Farms for $175 million. Maxwell then plans to turn around and sell as 50 percent share in Butterball to Seaboard Corp. for $177.5 million.

Smithfield CEO Larry Pope says that “our minority ownership position in Butterball did not permit us to execute the growth strategy that we believe was necessary to fully develop the company to its potential.” Which means, essentially, that Smithfield plans to be a pure-play pork producer, trying to compete more effectively with Hormel and Tyson.
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