The deal would offer $45 per share (in cash), which is 22 percent above Hillshire's closing price on Friday. Such the offer became public, Hillshire soared 21.4 percent in trading to $44.96, bringing it almost to the offer price. Pilgrim is up 5.8 percent to $26.55.
If Hillshire accepts the bid from Pilgrim, it would have to break off its pending acquisition of Pinnacle. As part of Pilgrim's offer, they have offered to pay the $163 million termination fee that Hillshire would owe Pinnacle. Last week, one of Hillshire's biggest shareholders objected to the Pinnacle deal, raising the possibility that it might not get approved either way.
Pilgrim's motive (apart from furthering the cold cut wars) is to expand into branded foods. Currently, Pilgrim sells mostly fresh poultry and only 20 percent prepared food. Hillshire is a king in packaged, prepared foods. Hillshire has not yet made a comment on the acquisition offer.