Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN), the second-largest U.S. pork producer, made an unsolicited $6.2 billion offer to buy Hillshire Brands Co. (HSH), trumping a competing bid from Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (PPC) for the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages.
Tyson is offering $50 a share, the Springdale, Arkansas-based company said today in a statement. That’s 35 percent more than Hillshire’s last closing stock price before it received Pilgrim’s $45-a-share unsolicited proposal on May 27. Hillshire traded as high as $52.93 today, indicating investors expect a higher offer.
Tyson, led by Chief Executive Officer Donnie Smith, is looking to expand further into branded, value-added packaged foods that have wider margins and more stable earnings compared with its traditional commodity meat business. It bid for food processor and distributor Michael Foods Group Inc., controlled by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s private-equity arm, people familiar with the matter said in February. It subsequently lost out to a bid from Post Holdings Inc.
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