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updated: 7/2/2014 8:23 AM

Tyson moving forward with Hillshire deal

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Associated Press

Tyson Foods Inc. has signed a definitive deal to purchase Chicago-based 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.

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.

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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.

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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