Starboard Value has received "non-binding written indications of interest" for Smithfield Foods, the company said on Tuesday, indicating it would vote against a $4.7 billion offer from a major Chinese bidder.
In a letter to shareholders, Starboard said unnamed third parties have indicated a willingness to buy all of Smithfield's assets, "which in the aggregate imply a total value for Smithfield at a price substantially in excess of the $34 cash deal" put on the table by Shuanghui International Holdings, China's largest meat processor.
In the letter, Starboard —which owns 5.7 percent of Smithfield's shares and is one of the company's biggest shareholders — expressed its intent to vote against the Shuanghui deal.
(Read more: More value in breaking up Smithfield?)
Starboard has long insisted that Shuanghui's $34 per share bid "significantly undervalued" the Virginia-based pork processor—keeping the door open for other offers as a result. Smithfield Foods Inc. has scheduled a Sept. 24 shareholders meeting in Richmond to vote on the takeover.
"Based on these indications of interest, we are currently in the process of working with the indicated buyers to construct an alternative all-cash proposal from a single entity for the acquisition of Smithfield that, we believe, could be deemed by the Board to be reasonably likely to lead to a superior proposal under the terms of the Merger Agreement with Shuanghui," Starboard said in its investor letter.
--The Associated Press contributed to this article.