HONG KONG – WH Group Ltd., parent company of Smithfield Foods Inc., recently announced that its European operations run by Smithfield would form a strategic alliance with Argal Group, a Spanish producer of packaged meats and charcuterie.

The meat producer stated that Smithfield would purchase a 50.1% stake in Argal. 

WH Group and Smithfield added that the deal is part of a medium-term plan with an agreed framework of joint management.

“Our investment in Argal is consistent with our strategy to grow our portfolio of packaged meat products in Europe,” Luis Cerdan Ibanez, executive vice president of European operations for Smithfield Foods. “Argal’s product quality, employees and management team make this alliance a solid platform for our growth in Spain and Europe.”

Argal will now have access to Smithfield’s distribution channels along with its vertically integrated supply chain and other assets.

Antonio Escribá, chairman, and José María Orteu, chief executive officer of Argal Group, provided insight on the next steps for the Spanish company.   

“This alliance will contribute to strengthening Argal Group’s growth possibilities, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in internationalization, technological evolution, sustainability and competitiveness in general, allowing it to face current and future challenges regarding the evolution of society and the business world in general and in particular food and its different marketing channels to customers and consumers,” Escribá and Orteu said. “It is also a project that will generate opportunities for the Argal’s team in their evolution and professional and personal growth.”

Argal operates production facilities in Catalonia, Navarra and Extremadura, along with nine distribution centers in Spain. It exports to more than 30 countries through subsidiaries or distributors. The company expects to have revenue of 440 million euros during fiscal year 2023. 

Argal, which was founded in 1914, produces other food offerings including cooked ham, cured ham, bacon, turkey, cold cuts, sausages, fuet, pâtés and ready-to-eat meals, among others.

Smithfield Foods Europe currently runs meat facilities in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.