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Tyson and Hillshire Brands merger complete

Tyson Foods, announced yesterday (28 August) the completion of its merger with The Hillshire Brands Company, the move places Tyson in the lead in the prepared foods business.

The merger creates a single company with more than US$40 billion (€30.36 bln) in annual sales and a portfolio that includes brands such as Tyson, Wright, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair and Hillshire Farm. It is also expected to generate synergy savings of $225 million (€170.78 mln) in fiscal 2015 and more than $500 million (€379.52 mln) by fiscal 2017.

Of the merger Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith said: "Part of our strategic growth plan has been to shift toward higher-margin prepared and branded foods. This transaction gives us a portfolio of complementary, proven brands as a new springboard and accomplishes in a short time what would have taken us years to build on our own."

Before start of business of the New York Stock Exchange and Chicago Stock Exchange today (29 August) shares of Hillshire Brands common stock will be delisted and cease trading.

A new leadership team has been selected and includes a mix of existing senior leaders from Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands:

  • Andy Callahan, former president of Hillshire's retail business, will manage all retail consumer brands, including the legacy Hillshire consumer brands (such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and Sara Lee), Tyson's consumer brands (such as Tyson frozen, value-added poultry and Wright Brand bacon) and Hillshire's Gourmet Food Group.
  • Sally Grimes, former chief innovation officer and president of Hillshire's Gourmet Food Group, will lead Tyson's innovation (including research and development), sales and global brand strategy teams.
  • Donnie King, former president-Prepared Foods, Customer and Consumer Solutions for Tyson Foods, will oversee Tyson's legacy poultry, fresh meats and non-branded prepared foods businesses as well as the combined Tyson Foods and Hillshire foodservice businesses. Those reporting to him will include Steve Stouffer who will lead fresh meats; Noel White who will lead poultry; Wes Morris who will lead prepared foods operations; and Tom Hayes, currently chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands, who will lead the combined Tyson and Hillshire foodservice businesses.
  • Those continuing to report to Donnie Smith will include David Van Bebber, who leads the Tyson legal team; Sara Lilygren, who leads corporate affairs; Dennis Leatherby, who continues as the company's chief financial officer; Hal Carper, who heads strategy and new ventures; Mike Roetzel, who oversees operations services; and Russell Tooley, who heads the company's business process and continuous improvement practice.
  • Ken Kimbro, who has led Tyson Foods' human resources functions since 2001, will be transitioning into retirement. He will be replaced by Mary Oleksiuk, former chief human resources officer for Hillshire Brands.

World Poultry

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