Hillshire, Tyson settle takeover issues with regulators

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Hillshire Brands Co. and Tyson Foods Inc. have reached a settlement with regulators over concerns about the companies’ proposed $8.5 billion merger.

Tyson will have to sell Heinold Hog Markets, which buys sows that are processed into sausage. The Justice Department said without the required divestiture, the combined company would control more than a third of sow purchases from U.S. farmers.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Divison on July 12 requested additional information about the combined company. At that time, Chicago-based Hillshire said the requests “relate only to a very small portion of the combined Tyson/Hillshire Brands business, and the parties are working expeditiously to resolve this matter.”

The companies on Tuesday extended the deadline for Tyson’s tender offer for Hillshire shares.

Tyson, based in Springdale, Ark., announced plans July 2 to buy Hillshire, the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages, Ball Park hot dogs and Hillshire Farm lunchmeat.

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