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Tyson Foods offers to purchase Hillshire Brands

Poultry company joins the fight to acquire Hillshire

Tyson joins fight over Hillshire BrandsA battle over the acquisition of Hillshire Brands is forming as Tyson Foods Inc. announced Thursday its proposal to buy the Chicago-based company, countering the offer by Pilgrim’s Pride submitted earlier this week.

The Arkansas-based meat and poultry company increased the offer from Pilgrim’s Pride, proposing a deal valued at $6.8 billion, up from the unsolicited offer of $6.4 billion from Pilgrim’s received on Tuesday. The Tyson Foods offer proposes to acquire the brand for $50 per share in cash.

Hillshire, which includes brands such as Hillshire Farms, Ball Park and Jimmy Dean, announced its plan to acquire Pinnacle Foods earlier in May for $6.6 billion, in an effort to expand its brand.

Both the Tyson and Pilgrim’s offers are contingent on Hillshire terminating its merger agreement with Pinnacle.

“We believe that there is a strong strategic, financial and operational rationale for the combination of Tyson and Hillshire,” said Donnie Smith, Tyson Foods President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our proposal provides Hillshire shareholders with an immediate cash premium for their shares that we believe is both greater and more certain than what can be attained in the near term by the company either on a standalone basis or in combination with any other food processing company.”

Based in Arkansas, Tyson Foods is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork with about 115,000 employees serving customers in 130 countries.

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