Hillshire and Tyson make merger official

Tyson Foods Inc. has signed a definitive deal to purchase Hillshire Brands Co. for $7.75 billion, two days after the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs was let out of its agreement to buy Pinnacle Foods.

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    This file photo combo shows a package of frozen Tyson Chicken Nuggets, left, and a package of Hillshire Farm sausage, in Palo Alto, Calif. Tyson Foods Inc. has signed a definitive deal to purchase Hillshire.
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Tyson Foods Inc. has signed a definitive deal to purchase Hillshire Brands Co. for $7.75 billion, two days after the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs was let out of its agreement to buy Pinnacle Foods.

Chicago-based Hillshire agreed to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc. for $4.23 billion in May. But then Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride Corp. got into a bidding war for Hillshire, with Hillshire accepting Tyson's $63 per share offer last month. The deal with Tyson — which is valued by the companies at about $8.55 billion, including debt — was contingent on Hillshire walking away from its deal with Pinnacle.

On Monday, Parsippany, New Jersey- based Pinnacle terminated its sale to Hillshire. Pinnacle makes products such as Birds Eye frozen vegetables, Duncan Hines cake mixes and Hungry-Man frozen dinners.

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Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson said Wednesday that it will pay the $163 million termination fee to Pinnacle on behalf of Hillshire.

Tyson's acquisition of Hillshire is expected to close by Sept. 27, the last day of Tyson's fiscal year.

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