Hillshire Brands

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Hillshire Brands
Type Subsidiary
Industry Consumer Goods
Predecessor(s) Sara Lee Corporation
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, USA
Key people Sean Connolly (President and CEO)
Parent Tyson Foods
Divisions Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Aidells, Gallo Salame, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery and Chef Pierre Pies, Golden Island Premium Jerkey
Website Official website

The Hillshire Brands Company is an American food company based in Chicago, Illinois. The company employs approximately 9000 people and generates nearly $4 billion in annual sales.[1]

Hillshire Brands is a manufacturer and marketer of packaged meat and frozen bakery products for the retail and foodservice markets, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tyson Foods. The company's portfolio of brands include Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Kahns, State Fair, Sara Lee, Chef Pierre Pies, Aidells, Gallo Salame and Golden Island Premium Jerky.[2]


Hillshire Brands made its debut on June 29, 2012 after the former Sara Lee Corporation spun-off its international coffee and tea division and renamed the remaining units of the company Hillshire Brands. It began trading on the NYSE that same day under the ticker HSH.[3]

Under the terms of the deal, Sara Lee’s stock underwent a one-for-five reverse split. As of June 27, 2012, all Sara Lee shareholders saw their holdings transform into Hillshire Brands shares and shrink by a factor of five. In addition, each former Sara Lee shareholder received shares in D.E Master Blenders on a one-to-one basis. The company paid out a concurrent $3 special cash dividend on all D.E Master Blenders shares.[4]

In May 2013 the split was recognized among the six most successful Fortune 500 companies’ spinoffs by Fortune magazine.[5]

During the fiscal year 2013 roughly three quarters of Hillshire’s revenues (74%) were generated through retail channels while the foodservice business accounted for 26% of the company’s sales.[6]

In May 2014, Hillshire Brands announced it was buying Pinnacle Foods for US$4.23 billion in a cash and stock deal. Pinnacle Foods brands include Birds Eye, Duncan Hines, Hungry-Man and Swanson frozen TV dinners, among many others.[7] Days later, Pilgrim's Pride threatened the deal with its own bid for Hillshire Brands for $6.4 billion.[8] To complicate matters further, on 29 May 2014, Tyson Foods announced a $6.13 billion cash bid for Hillshire Brands.[9] On 9 June 2014 Hillshire announced it had received a revised bid from Tysons valuing the company at $8.55 billion. Pilgrim's Pride simultaneously announced it had withdrawn its bid.[10]

On June 30, 2014, it was announced that Pinnacle Foods had scrapped its sale to Hillshire Brands, which would allow Hillshire to be acquired by Tyson Foods. Pinnacle will receive a $163 million payment as part of the breakup from Hillshire, and Pinnacle will also receive an expected $25 million in one-time costs connected to the scotched sale. [11][12]


  1. ^ "Hillshire Brands Company Financial Information". Yahoo Finance. 2014. 
  2. ^ "Hillshire Brands Annual Report". Hillshire Brands. 2013. 
  3. ^ "Sara Lee splits, takes Hillshire name for N. American business". USA Today. Associated Press. 6 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Looking Back: Sara Lee’s Hillshire Brands Spin-Off Unlocks Value". Arbideas. 12 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "6 spinoff successes". CNN Money. 6 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Company Profile". Reuters. 
  7. ^ "Hillshire Brands Buying Pinnacle Foods for $4.23B". ABCNews.go.com. ABC News. May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ Baertlein, Lisa (May 27, 2014). "Pilgrim's bid for Hillshire puts pinnacle deal in peril". Reuters. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ "US meat giant Tyson joins acquisition bid for Hillshire Brands". Business Sun. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Tyson Foods wins battle to buy Hillshire Brands". Arkansas State News.Net. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Pinnacle Foods Lets Hillshire out of Sale Pact". ABC News. Associated Press. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Team, Trefis. "Hillshire Brands Moves To End Pinnacle Deal In Light Of Tyson Foods' Offer". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 

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