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Hillshire Brands to Acquire Pinnacle Foods


The Hillshire Brands Co. has said it will acquire all outstanding shares of Pinnacle Foods in a cash and stock transaction estimated at $6.6 billion. The deal is expected to close September 2014.

The combined company, which will be based in Chicago, will operate under the Hillshire Brands name and be led by President and CEO Sean Connolly. Hillshire will appoint a representative from New York-based private equity firm Blackstone, which owns 51 percent of Pinnacle's outstanding stock, to its board upon the transaction's closing.

Under the terms of the agreement, each share of Pinnacle common stock will be exchanged for $18 in cash and 50 cent shares of Hillshire Brands common stock.

“This compelling transaction offers Pinnacle Foods shareholders an immediate premium and the opportunity to participate in the tremendous potential of the combined organization,” said Bob Gamgort, CEO of Parsippany, N.J.-based Pinnacle. “The complementary portfolios and strategic fit of these two companies create significant value for the shareholders of both organizations."

The acquisition, which comes on the heels of Hillshire's recent purchase of Van's Natural Foods, slated to close this month, aims to significantly increase its presence across the frozen, refrigerated and center store categories, with such brands as Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Birds Eye, Ball Park, Duncan Hines, Vlasic, Wish-Bone, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery, Mrs. Butterworth's and Log Cabin.

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