Tyson wins bidding war for Hillshire Brands

In the news Monday morning: Tyson Foods bests Pilgrim's Pride in bidding war for Hillshire Brands. Walmart president vows 'full responsibility' for driver's role in Morgan crash. Sterling lawsuit holds up Clippers sale to Ballmer. Cranston wins Tony for role showing LBJ Civil Rights push. Lawyers line up against GM.

Tyson wins food fight for Hillshire Brands
Tyson Foods emerged Sunday night as the victor in the bidding contest to acquire Hillshire Brands, outbidding Pilgrim’s Pride by a billion dollars. The winning offer values Hillshire Brands at $7.7 billion. Tyson, known best as a maker of chicken, beef, and pork products, would obtain the Jimmy Dean sausage brand through the deal.

FleishmanHillard is supporting Tyson on communications for the acquisition. An earlier bid had valued Hillshire at $6.8 billion. The Omnicom Group agency has been Tyson’s global AOR for integrated corporate communications since 2012. No other agencies are working with the food products company on the deal.

Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher had been helping rival bidder Pilgrim’s Pride push the message of the combined company’s potential value to shareholders.

Sard Verbinnen & Co. was supporting Hillshire on communications for its proposed takeover of Pinnacle Foods, which both Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride were trying to halt.  

Walmart vows to take ‘full responsibility’ for driver’s role in Morgan accident
Walmart president Bill Simon issued a statement this weekend apologizing after one of the company’s truck drivers was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto for his role in the accident that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan early Saturday. He said the retailer will take "full responsibility" if it is determined the truck caused the crash, which killed one and seriously injured three others.

Quote of the day
"While I understand he is frustrated, I think it’s over," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Donald Sterling’s potential lawsuit against the league.

Speaking to reporters Sunday night before game two of the NBA Finals, Silver said he has "absolute confidence" the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will go through this summer. The one holdup is, you guessed it, Sterling’s potential lawsuit against the league. 

Cranston wins Tony for portraying LBJ during Civil Rights push
Actor Bryan Cranston won a Tony Award Sunday night for his portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson in the play All the Way. The production describes Johnson’s often-difficult efforts to get legislators and social leaders on board with passing the Civil Rights Act.

GM’s next major recall challenge: dozens of lawsuits
With the Valukas report behind it, General Motors is facing dozens of civil lawsuits over its handling of faulty ignition switches in Chevrolet Cobalts, an issue linked to 13 deaths. Lawyers who forced large civil settlements after events such as the Exxon-Valdez oil spill and landmark tobacco cases are taking part in the more than 80 suits filed against the automaker.

This story was updated on June 9 with additional information about the agencies working on the Tyson-Hillshire deal.

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