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CHICAGO -- The bidding war continues for Hillshire Brands Co., as Pilgrim's Pride upped the ante with an offer of $55 per share, a transaction valued at $7.7 billion. This tops Tyson Foods' bid of $50 per share, or $6.8 billion, made last week.
The revised proposal by Pilgrim's Pride represents a $1.3-billion increase over the company's initial offer of $6.4 billion, or $45 per share. The new bid is also a 49-percent premium over Hillshire's share price as of one day prior to its Pinnacle Foods acquisition announcement on May 12.
"Pilgrim's is confident the transaction is strategically and financially compelling, and creates considerable value for the shareholders of both Pilgrim's and Hillshire," the poultry producer said in a statement.
If the deal goes through, Pilgrim's noted that it would expect run-rate cost synergies in excess of $300 million annually, stemming from operational and value-chain efficiencies, as well as growth opportunities in higher-margin branded products, both in North America and abroad.
Chicago-based Hillshire released a statement regarding the unsolicited proposals, indicating it would conduct separate discussions with both Pilgrim's and Tyson as the company weighs its options.
Hillshire Brands Co., formerly known as Sara Lee Corp., is a supplier of branded foods. Its portfolio includes iconic brands such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and State Fair.