Smithfield, Virginia (May 18, 2005)--Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) today announced that a United States District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has dismissed the $226 million cross-claim of Pennexx Foods, Inc. against Smithfield and two of its officers. Pennexx filed the cross-claim on December 3, 2003, alleging thirteen causes of action including fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with contractual relations. Pennexx sought damages in excess of $226 million. Smithfield maintained from the outset that the cross-claim was completely without merit.
On October 15, 2004, Smithfield moved to dismiss the lawsuit. On May 18, 2005, the court granted Smithfield's motion and dismissed Pennexx's claims in their entirety in a 29 page opinion.
Smithfield Foods, with annualized sales of $10 billion, is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs. The Smithfield Beef Group is the fifth largest beef processor in the U.S.
This news release may contain "forward-looking" information within the meaning of the federal securities laws. The forward-looking information may include statements concerning the company's outlook for the future, as well as other statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks and uncertainties include availability and prices of livestock, raw materials and supplies, livestock costs, product pricing, the competitive environment and related market conditions, operating efficiencies, access to capital, the cost of compliance with environmental and health standards, adverse results from ongoing litigation and actions of domestic and foreign governments.