Tyson Foods offers $6.8 billion for Hillshire

The market can't get enough food.

Latest attempted snarf: Tyson Foods said it will pay $50 a share -- $6.8 billion by Tyson's calculation -- in an all-cash proposal to acquire Hillshire Brands.

Tyson said its offer is a 35% premium to Hillshire shareholders, and, in Tyson's view, is a "superior alternative to HIllshire's announced agreement to acquire Pinnacle Foods."

Pilgrim's Pride, majority owned by Brazil's JBS, the world's largest meat processor, also wants to swallow Hillshire and previously offered $6.4 billion in a takeover bid.

Hillshire's best-known brands are Jimmy Dean and Ball Park. Tyson, besides its namesake food brand, also sells IBP, Wilson, Wright and other brands of food products.

Hillshire shares zoomed on the Tyson news, up more than 15% to nearly $52 in early trading, well up from the previous close of $44.99.

Tyson was up about $2 in early trading, ahead of the revious day's close of $40.75

Pilgrim's Pride, a leading producer of chicken products for the U.S. school lunch program, was down as much as 70 cents, or 2.8%, as investors envisioned it having to pay more to acquire Hillshire..

Pinnacle was off as the acquisition offer by Hillshire threatened to evaporate. Pinnacle's marquee brands are Birds Eye frozen vegetables and Duncan Hines cake mixes.


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