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Tyson plucks Hillshire for $8 billion-plus |

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Tyson plucks Hillshire for $8 billion-plus
Tyson plucks Hillshire for $8 billion-plus

(USA TODAY)U.S. meat giant Tyson Foods announced today that it has offered to acquire all outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands Company for a price of $63 per share in cash.

The all-cash transaction is valued at about $8.5 billion, including Hillshire Brands' outstanding net debt, Tyson Foods said in a statement.

This tops an earlier offer: Last Thursday Tyson Foods offered $50 a share — $6.8 billion, by Tyson's calculation — in a proposal to acquire the maker of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park hot dogs.

The latest offer, which follows a bidding process conducted by Hillshire Brands that concluded Sunday, is subject to Hillshire Brands being released from its existing agreement to acquire Pinnacle Foods, Tyson Foods says.

"Our strategy has been to grow our prepared foods business, and it has been our aspiration to be a leader in retail prepared foods just as we are in chicken, said Donnie Smith, Tyson's president and chief executive officer. "Now we will have those iconic No. 1 and No. 2 brands in numerous categories."

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