Pilgrim’s Pride Raises Its Bid To More Than $6.7B For Hillshire Brands After Tyson’s Offer

(Tracy O)

(Tracy O)

When Pilgrim’s Pride first started its pursuit of Hillshire Brands, the company behind Jimmy Dean breakfast sausages, a $6.4 billion offer seemed like a good place to start. But now that Tyson Foods is on the scene, flinging about a $6.8 billion bid of its own, Pilgrim’s Pride is feeling the heat of competition and has come back with a raised offer of more than $6.7 billion.

Pilgrim’s Pride says it’s now valuing the meats and desserts company at $55 a share instead of the $45 a share offer it started with, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal, which comes out to more than $6.7 billion. That’s more than the $50-per-share offer from Tyson foods.

Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride (which has Brazilian meat giant JBS as its parent company) have been competing hotly for the affections of Hillshire, all to get their hands on things like Sara Lee desserts and Ball Park hot dogs.

Experts are calling the successful courtship of Hillshire a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” as the company’s recognizable and well-loved brands translates into dollar signs in the supermarket aisles, said analysts at Bernstein Research.

Again, neither Pilgrim’s nor Tyson wants Hillshire to go ahead with its plan to buy Pinnacle Foods for $4.3 billion, so whoever wins in this case will likely require the company to scuttle that deal.

Pilgrim’s Pride Boosts Hillshire Offer to $55 a Share [Wall Street Journal]