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Tyson's Acquisition of Hillshire Is Paying Off a Year Later

5/22/15 2:26 PM EDT
Tyson Foods endured some searing criticism last June when it acquired Hillshire Brands for what seemed like an extremely rich $8.46 billion. In fact, the bidder Tyson publicly competed against, Greeley, Colo.-based Pilgrim's Pride, earned praise for being disciplined when it walked away from the pricey auction of the refrigerated meats and frozen foods business. Nearly a year later, the Hillshire deal looks like a steal for Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson. A May 5 report by Gimme Credit analyst Dave Novosel noted that Tyson has already achieved $70 million in annual synergies from the deal. That encouraged the poultry producer to increase its target for total synergies to $250 million from $225 million for the full year. By 2017, Tyson aims to generate $600 million in annual synergies. With Hillshire having an immediate impact on Tyson's financial performance, the combined company may even be undervalued compared to its food industry peers. The Deal's Richard Collings reports from New York.
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