Hillshire Brands responds to takeover bids

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Tyson Foods has offer $50 per share for the Chicago-based firm
Tyson Foods has offer $50 per share for the Chicago-based firm

Related tags Tyson foods Stock Beef Pork Poultry

US firm The Hillshire Brands Company appears to be the subject of a bidding war, with a number of unsolicited proposals to buy the business – from Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, a subsidiary of Brazilian meat giant JBS, proposed the acquisition of Hillshire Brands for $45 per share, in cash (on 27 May) – a transaction valued at $6.4bn.

Tyson Foods then upped the ante two days later with a $50 per share cash proposal, worth an estimated $6.8bn. In response Pilgrim's Pride has today (3 June) submitted a revised proposal to acquire Hillshire for $55 per share in cash - a transaction valued at $7.7bn.

Hillshire said that, consistent with its fiduciary duties and in consultation with its independent financial and legal advisors, its board would thoroughly review both proposals.

Pilgrim’s bid would require Hillshire to drop its own proposal to acquire Pinnacle Foods for $6.6bn – a deal announced earlier in May. It claimed its proposal would provide Hillshire shareholders with "a substantially superior alternative to Hillshire’s pending acquisition of Pinnacle Foods"​ – something Tyson Foods has also claimed regarding its proposal.

However, in a statement last week, a spokesperson for Hillshire, said: "We continue to strongly believe in the strategic merits and value creation potential provided by the proposed transaction with Pinnacle Foods."

Tyson said its proposal would also realise substantial benefits from full integration of the protein value chain, "as stable and consistent demand for protein products will enable Tyson to best utilise its industry-leading position and resources to maximise shareholder value".

Donnie Smith, president and chief executive of Tyson Foods, added: "Tyson’s shareholders will benefit from the considerable new opportunities that come with this extraordinary strategic fit."

Chicago-based Hillshire Brands generated approximately $4bn in annual sales in fiscal 2013, and employees more than 9,000 staff.

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