Pilgrim's Pride Wants Hillshire
Pilgrim's Pride Corp has offered to buy Hillshire Brands.
The bid comes just two weeks after the maker of Hillshire lunch meats and Jimmy Dean Sausages offered to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc., known for its Birds Eye frozen vegetables and Wish-Bone salad dressings, in a $4.3 billion deal.
Pilgrim's competing overture, which requires Hillshire to drop its Pinnacle bid, also signaled an aggressive return to dealmaking by Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS, which owns about 75% of Pilgrim's and recently cut its debt.
Pilgrim's chief executive William Lovette said in a letter to Hillshire that "our proposal will no longer exist if the proposed acquisition of Pinnacle is consummated."
Hillshire said in a statement that it continued to "strongly believe in the strategic merits and value creation potential" of the Pinnacle merger, but that it would thoroughly review the Pilgrim's Pride proposal.