New York • Chicken producer Pilgrim's Pride is offering to acquire fellow meat maker Hillshire Brands to create a "protein-focused" company in a deal worth $5.58 billion.
The offer is contingent on Hillshire scrapping its plan to buy Pinnacle Foods, which makes Birds Eye frozen vegetables, Duncan Hines cake mixes and Hungry Man frozen dinners. Hillshire, which makes its namesake lunchmeats, Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages, announced the $4.23 billion deal earlier this month as a way to expand into different parts of the supermarket.
But Pilgrim's Pride says its offer of $45 per share for Hillshire is a "substantially superior" alternative that would allow the companies to cut costs by merging some operations. It also said the deal would lead to growth opportunities in more profitable branded products.