Pilgrim’s Pride to Acquire Hillshire in $6.4-Billion Deal

May 27, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

The world’s second largest chicken producer, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., said that it has offered to buy Hillshire Brands Co., in a $6.4-billion deal, including debt.

The move allows Pilgrim to add pork and beef products to its existing portfolio which until now only included chicken. The company agreed to a cash offer of $45 per share, which is a 24 per cent premium. Looking at the market, Hillshire shares were trading a bit higher than the offer at $45.35, which left some analysis’ to speculate that investors were expecting a higher offer from Pilgrim.  

Earlier this month, Hillshire said it planned to buy Pinnacle Foods, in a $4.23- billion deal. The company makes frozen vegetables, cake mixes and frozen dinners.

According to Pilgrim, the bid has the support of Brazilian-based JBS S.A., which owns about 68 per cent of the company. JBS is the largest multinational meat processing company in the world, processing beef, chicken, and pork.

The company plans to finance the deal with a combination of existing cash and third party financing.