Tyson outbids Pilgrim’s Pride for Hillshire

Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) said Thursday that it proposed to acquire The Hillshire Brands Co. (NYSE: HSH) for $50 per share, surpassing the Greeley-based chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.’s $45-per-share offer.

Pilgrim’s Pride (Nasdaq: PPC), in which JBS USA in Greeley has a controlling interest, offered Tuesday to acquire Hillshire in a deal valued at $6.4 billion. Tyson said in a statement that its deal was valued at $6.8 billion.

Both companies consider their deals superior to Hillshire’s previously announced agreement to acquire Pinnacle Foods Inc. (NYSE: PF). Hillshire makes Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park hot dogs.

Tyson said acquiring Hillshire would reposition Tyson as a leader in prepared foods retail sales.
Pilgrim’s Pride shares dropped 1.6 percent to $24.97 while Tyson shares gained 3 percent to $43.68. Hillshire shares surged 18 percent to $52.80.

Pilgrim’s Pride said in an email statement that it was aware of Tyson’s bid for Hillshire, and was considering its options. A spokesman representing the company said Pilgrim’s Pride would not comment further.

Pilgrim’s Pride said its proposed acquisition of Hillshire would lead to $12.4 billion in combined revenue for the companies. Pilgrim’s Pride said the companies would see greater efficiency through the acquisition as well as significant growth opportunities.

Pilgrim’s Pride had aimed to close the deal during the third quarter.

Pilgrim’s employs about 35,700 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared foods facilities in 12 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico.



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