Tyson Foods Extends Hillshire Tender Offer As Feds Seek More Deal Details

by Lance Turner  on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 8:24 am  

Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale has extended its tender offer for Hillshire Brands of Chicago as the U.S. Department of Justice seeks more details on the pair's $8.5 billion merger plan.

The publicly traded meat processor announced the extension and the department's request in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late Tuesday.

In the filing, Tyson Foods said it and Hillshire had each received requests for more information from the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. Tyson said the request relates "only to a very small portion of the combined Tyson/Hillshire Brands business," and that it still expects the deal, reached in July, to go through.

Tyson Foods' original tender offer was set to expire on July 16. It has now been extended to Aug. 19.

Tyson Foods outbid Pilgrim’s Pride of Greeley, Colorado, for Hillshire, eventually agreeing to pay $63 per share for Hillshire's 124 million outstanding shares while assuming $553 million in Hillshire debt. Hillshire has top brands such as Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausage.

Last month, a coalition of 82 farm, consumer and community groups urged the Justice Department to extend its division’s review of the deal.

The groups sent a co-signed letter (PDF) to William Baer, the assistant attorney general of the Antitrust Division, saying that the merger would "substantially lessen competition, or tend to create a monopoly," which is forbidden by Section 7 of the Clayton Act.



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