Hillshire to talk with Tyson, Pilgrim's Pride

NEW YORK (AP) - The board of Hillshire Brands has decided to hold talks with Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson Foods, as the two major meat processors engage in a bidding war for the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs.

The announcement by Hillshire Brands on Tuesday comes one day after Pilgrim's Pride Corp. increased its bid to $55 per share from $45 per share. Last week Tyson Foods Inc. made a $6.2 billion, or $50 per share, offer for Hillshire Brands Co.

The takeover bids are being driven by the desirability of brand-name processed products like Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches.

Both offers are contingent on Hillshire abandoning its plan to acquire Pinnacle Foods, which makes Birds Eye frozen vegetables.

Based in Greeley, Colorado, Pilgrim's Pride is owned by Brazilian meat giant JBS.

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