Gold Kist Rejects Pilgrim's Pride

A chicken fight escalates.
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Gold Kist

(GKIS)

rejected a buyout offer from fellow chicken producer

Pilgrim's Pride

(PPC) - Get Report

, calling the $20-a-share bid inadequate.

Gold Kist said the bid doesn't reflect the stand-alone value of the company, and it's exploring strategic alternatives that may lead to valuations greater than $20 a share. The company also said Pilgrim's Pride is subject to numerous conditions that make it uncertain a deal could be completed.

Pilgrim's Pride launched its unsolicited bid in late August. At the time Gold Kist expressed disappointment that Pilgrim's went public with the offer but said it would evaluate the bid, which was valued at about $1 billion.

Last month, Pilgrim's started a tender offer for the company. Gold Kist said Thursday that it strongly recommends that investors not tender their shares.

Gold Kist also filed a lawsuit in a Georgia court seeking to stop Pilgrim's from proceeding with the tender offer and an attempt to add nine directors to Gold Kist's board.

Pilgrim's Pride and Gold Kist are the nation's second- and third-largest chicken producers, respectively, behind

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Report

.

Shares of Gold Kist recently fell 8 cents to $20.67, while Pilgrim's Pride rose 23 cents to $26.85.