Tyson Foods Inc. has announced its $8.5 billion purchase of Hillshire Brands Co. is now complete, bringing a close to the meat industry’s biggest deal.
“Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands are officially together in one great company," Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith said in a news release here. "Part of our strategic growth plan has been to shift toward higher-margin prepared and branded foods. This transaction gives us a portfolio of complementary, proven brands as a new springboard and accomplishes in a short time what would have taken us years to build on our own."
Tyson won a bidding war for Hillshire in June after topping earlier offers from Pilgrim’s Pride. The Chicago Tribune reports in an article here the companies started to move forward with the acquisition in July after handing over a $163 million breakup fee to Pinnacle Foods.
The U.S. Department of Justice and three state attorneys general said “not so fast” to the deal amid concerns of loss of competition in the market and added a divestiture requirement to the acquisition. Tyson agreed to sell a small hog-processing division to resolve these antitrust concerns. Read more here.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Tyson plans to keep Hillshire’s Chicago headquarters and the Downers Grove Innovation Center open. Though some Hillshire executives plan to stay with Tyson, Hillshire President and CEO Sean Connolly announced he would leave the company after a transition period. See, “Tyson Completes Acquisition of Hillshire.”