NOBULL: Smithfield parent execs cash in from massive stock offer

Smithfield parent execs cash in from massive stock offer

By Chris Scott on 4/14/2014

Last week’s $5.3-billion initial public offer (IPO) launch of WH Group Ltd. stock has provided a windfall for two of the Hong Kong-based conglomerate’s top executives, according to preliminary proxy filings studied by Reuters.

WH Group – which acquired Smithfield Foods Inc. last year – awarded 573.1 million new shares to Chairman and CEO Wan Long and another 245.6 million shares to Yang Zhijun, an executive in charge of investments, acquisitions and financing.

At the time of their issuance in October 2013, the stock was worth a total of about $597 million, a sum that’s expected to rise in value once the IPO of 3.56 billion shares is completed on April 22.

The company said the shares represent a reward for the role the executives paid in completing the $4.9-billion acquisition of Smithfield last year.

The stock is expected to begin trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on April 30 for between HK$8 ($1.03) and HK$11.25 ($1.45) a share, about double the price of the stock awarded to the two executives last fall.