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Pilgrim's Pride Tops Tyson Foods in Bidding War for Hillshire

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pilgrim's Pride is escalating the bidding war for Hillshire Brands by offering $55 a share for the company, or $7.7 billion.  The offer tops its previous one as well as one from Tyson Foods, which offered $50 a share, or $6.8 billion.


The bidding war for Hillshire Brands (HSH) and products like its Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches has escalated. Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) has topped its previous offer for the company, valuing it at about $55 a share, or $7.7 billion.

That's according to a news release by Pilgrim's Pride, which said that it submitted the revised bid to Hillshire on June 1. The new bid tops its prior offer, which valued the company at $6.4 billion, as well as one from Tyson Foods (TSN), which offered $50 a share, or $6.8 billion. Pilgrim's called the new offer "financially compelling" for shareholders of both companies, noting it would generate annual cost savings of $300 million from increased efficiencies.

The bids for Hillshire have been unsolicited and are contingent upon Hillshire abandoning its plans to buy Pinnacle Foods (PF) for $4.2 billion. Hillshire released a statement saying that it doesn't have the right to terminate the merger on the basis of the proposals, but its board of directors plans to conduct discussions with Pilgrim's and Tyson in regard to the bids. If either company were to acquire Hillshire, it would have to pay a $163 million breakup fee Hillshire would owe to Pinnacle.

In New York, I'm Brittany Umar reporting for TheStreet.

-- Written by Brittany Umar in New York.

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