Would you like chicken or beef with that?

No, it's not a wedding, but a union of another kind.

Big chicken producer

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Report

announced this morning that is has agreed to buy beef producer

IBP

(IBP) - Get Report

for about $3.2 billion in cash and stock, broadening Tyson's food business.

The deal, which also calls for Tyson to assume about $1.5 billion in IBP debt, comes as a bit of a surprise. It had been rumored that IBP would be purchased by either

DLJ Merchant Banking

or pork producer

Smithfield Foods

(SFD)

.

During the first full year of the deal, Tyson said IBP will add to its net income by 15% and to its cash earnings by 20%.