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Tyson moving forward with Hillshire deal

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) -- Tyson Foods Inc. has signed a definitive deal to purchase Hillshire Brands Co. for $7.75 billion, two days after the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs was let out of its agreement to buy Pinnacle Foods.

Chicago-based Hillshire agreed to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc. for $4.23 billion in May. But then Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride got into a bidding war for Hillshire, with Hillshire accepting Tyson's $63 per share offer last month. The deal with Tyson _ which is valued by the companies at about $8.55 billion, including debt _ was contingent on Hillshire walking away from its deal with Pinnacle.

Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson said Wednesday that it will pay the $163 million termination fee to Pinnacle.

Tyson's acquisition of Hillshire is expected to close by Sept. 27.

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