Tyson Foods completes merger with Hillshire Brands

LITTLE ROCK — Springdale-based Tyson Foods said Thursday it has completed its $8.55 billion merger with The Hillshire Brands Company based in Chicago.

The merger creates a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a stable of well-known brands such as Tyson, Wright, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair and Hillshire Farm.

“As of today, Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands are officially together in one great company,” Tyson CEO Donnie Smith said in a news release. “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.”

Shares of Hillshire Brands common stock will be delisted and cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Chicago Stock Exchange before the opening of the respective markets Friday, Tyson said.