Tyson Foods will sell its sow purchasing business, Heinold Hog Markets, in order to get regulatory clearance for its $7.75 billion purchase of Hillshire Brands.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday that Tyson Foods must sell the business in order to preserve competition for farmers who sell sows, or female pigs. The agency said Tyson and Hillshire combine to make more than a third of the sow purchases in the U.S.
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Tyson Foods Inc. and Hillshire Brands Co. said they agreed with the department's proposal.
The department says Heinold buys sows from farmers and sells them to sausage makes. It had $270 million in revenue in 2013. That's less than 1 percent of Tyson's total revenue. Hillshire makes the pigs into Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm brand foods
Tyson agreed to buy Hillshire in June for $63 per share.