Hillshire to debut amid acquisition speculation
Hillshire Brands Co. is set make its debut as a public company Friday after spinning off from Sara Lee Corp., and speculation about it being an acquisition target is already under way.
Hillshire will focus on meat brands such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park and its namesake Hillshire Farm, which Sara Lee acquired in 1971. It will also sell frozen desserts and bakery products.
The other company to emerge from Sara Lee will be an international coffee and tea company called D.E. Master Blenders 1753, referring Douwe Egberts, one of the company's coffee brands. That business will be based in the Netherlands.
In a note to investors this week, Bernstein Research analyst Alexia Howard said there are a range of potential suitors for Hillshire Brands, including Hormel Foods Corp. and Tyson Foods Inc. She noted that no other meat-focused company of Hillshire's size and strong stable of brands had been previously available.Comment: Hormel would be a good match