Wednesday, July 2, 2014 2:42 pm
NEW YORK – US meat giant Tyson Foods announced Wednesday that it had sealed its $8.6 billion takeover of Hillshire Brands, capping a short but fierce bidding war with Brazilian-owned rival Pilgrim’s Pride.
Tyson and Hillshire said they had entered a definitive agreement on the takeover, set in principle on June 9, after Hillshire was able to terminate its planned purchase of another food processor, Pinnacle Foods.
That was a condition of Tyson’s takeover, and it paid a $163 million cancellation fee on Hillshire’s behalf to Pinnacle.
Tyson will pay $7.7 billion, or $63 a share in cash, for all of Hillshire’s shares. Adding in debt held by Hillshire, the total value of the takeover is $8.6 billion.
The deal adds Hillshire’s popular downstream processed meats — higher value-added brands like Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs — to the more commodity-like fresh and frozen meats of the world’s second largest meat processor.
Tyson says bringing the two businesses together would deliver $300 million in annual savings to the combined company.
“By investing in Hillshire Brands and its collection of leading brands, we have a unique opportunity to transform an important segment of our business, and position Tyson Foods to meet American consumers’ growing demand for protein at breakfast and throughout the day,” said Tyson president and chief executive Donnie Smith.
To win the deal Tyson had to outbid US chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride, the US subsidiary of Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest meat processor.