|Predecessor(s)||Sara Lee Corporation|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Key people||Sean Connolly (President and CEO)|
|Divisions||Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Aidells, Gallo Salame, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery and Chef Pierre Pies, Golden Island Premium Jerkey|
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.
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.
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.
In May 2013 the split was recognized among the six most successful Fortune 500 companies’ spinoffs by Fortune magazine.
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.
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. Days later, Pilgrim's Pride threatened the deal with its own bid for Hillshire Brands for $6.4 billion. To complicate matters further, on 29 May 2014, Tyson Foods announced a $6.13 billion cash bid for Hillshire Brands. 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 Pilgrim's Pride simultaneously announced it had withdrawn its bid.
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. 
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