Hillshire Brands (owner of brands like Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, and Sara Lee) announced the acquisition of Pinnacle Foods today (owner of Duncan Hines, Birds Eye, Armour, and Vlasic, among others), to the tune of $6.6 billion. Hillshire will acquire all of Pinnacle's outstanding shares in cash and stock, and includes Pinnacle Foods’ outstanding net debt. Each share of Pinnacle stock will be exchanged for $18 in cash and 0.5 shares of Hillshire stock. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and it is expected to close this September.
So what does this mean for your favorite frozen, boxed, and preserved foods? The "Compelling Strategic Rationale" Hillshire laid out when publicizing the deal includes expanding their existing brands, increasing "scale and presence" for frozen and refrigerated foods, and increased diversification. Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Hillshire Brands said, "The new Hillshire Brands will have a strengthened position in frozen foods, new opportunities in the center store for our brands and in refrigerated for Pinnacle Foods’ brand."
But how can they use that synergy to bring us whole new categories of delicious packaged supermarket treats? Here are The Wire's best guesses at what foods will (or should) result from the merger: