NEWS
Mon Jun 17, 2013 08:09 AM CDT

(Dow Jones) -- A major Smithfield Foods Inc. investor is pressuring the company to explore a breakup rather than follow through with its planned takeover by a Chinese meat producer, according to a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

In a letter to the Smithfield board, expected to be delivered by Monday, activist investment fund Starboard Value LP says it has taken a 5.7% stake in the world's largest hog farmer and pork processor and urges the company to consider splitting up.

The position makes Starboard one of Smithfield's larger investors.

Virginia-based Smithfield agreed last month to a $4.7 ...

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