7 months, 2 weeks ago From Illinoisagconnection.com
It appears that Tyson Foods Inc. has won the bidding battle to buy Hillshire Brands Co., besting an offer from Pilgrim's Pride Corp. Terms were not available, according to reports.
Pilgrim's Pride had offered $55 per share, or roughly $6.82 billion, for Chicago-based Hillshire last week, upping its offer after Tyson entered the bidding with an offer of $50 per share, or roughly $6.2 billion, for Hillshire on May 29.
Hillshire, the maker of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park hot dogs, agreed last week to share information with Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson and hold separate discussions with both suitors regarding their unsolicited proposals.
Hillshire has been seen as a potential acquisition candidate for months as companies look for ways to boost their sales of branded foods, which often carry higher profit margins than commodity-focused items. Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride each handle meat processing and have some branded operations. Both have said they were attracted to Hillshire in part because of its presence in areas such as brand-name breakfast foods.
Tyson has already done smaller acquisitions over the past several months, including its January purchase of the assets of Michigan-based Bosco’s Pizza Co., a maker of stuffed breadsticks and frozen pizzas.
Pilgrim's Pride is 75-percent owned by Brazil’s JBS S.A., the world's largest meat company. An acquisition of Hillshire would allow it to expand further into retail products and to bring the U.S.-focused Hillshire products into international market