Pilgrim’s Pride raises offer to $7.7 billion for Hillshire Brands

by Keith Nunes
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GREELEY, Colo. – Pilgrim’s Pride has increased its offer to acquire the Hillshire Brands Co., Chicago, to $55 per share in a proposed transaction that is now valued at $7.7 billion. Pilgrim’s Pride’s revised bid came in response to an offer submitted by Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark., on May 29 to acquire Hillshire Brands for $50 per share in a proposal valued at $6.8 billion.

On May 27, Pilgrim’s Pride offered to acquire Hillshire Brands for $45 per share. The company said that if its bid is successful the acquisition of Hillshire Brands will be immediately accretive to its earnings. The company expects to experience approximately $300 million in annual savings from operational and supply chain efficiencies.

Both offers from Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods to acquire Hillshire Brands have been unsolicited. On June 3, Hillshire’s board of directors said it will enter into formal talks with both Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods.

“Hillshire Brands is party to a merger agreement with Pinnacle Foods pursuant to which Hillshire Brands agreed to acquire Pinnacle Foods for per share consideration of $18 in cash and 0.5 shares of Hillshire Brands common stock,” the company said in a statement. “Both the Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods proposals are conditioned on the termination of the Pinnacle Foods merger agreement. Hillshire Brands does not have the right to terminate the Pinnacle Foods merger agreement on the basis of either of these proposals or enter into an alternative acquisition agreement with either of these parties prior to termination. There can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these proposals.

“The Hillshire Brands board of directors is not withdrawing, modifying, withholding or qualifying its recommendation with respect to the Pinnacle merger agreement and the merger, or proposing to do so, and is not making any recommendation with respect to either the Pilgrim’s Pride or Tyson Foods proposals.”
Both Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods said they would pay the $163 million termination fee payable to Pinnacle Foods is one of their offers is accepted.
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