NEWS
Thu May 29, 2014 04:55 PM CDT

(Dow Jones) -- Tyson Foods Inc. offered $6.1 billion to buy Hillshire Brands Co., setting up a battle between meatpacking heavyweights for the maker of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ballpark hot dogs.

The offer of $50 a share comes just two days after rival Pilgrim's Pride Corp., owned by Brazilian meat processor JBS SA, unveiled an unsolicited bid for Hillshire worth about $5.5 billion, or $45 a share.

Both offers aim to top Chicago-based Hillshire's planned $4.3 billion purchase of packaged-foods company Pinnacle Foods Inc., announced less than three weeks ago.

All the companies involved are trying to diversify the ...

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