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Tyson Foods set to acquire Hillshire Brands

BY Ryan Chavis

SPRINGDALE, Ark. & CHICAGO — Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands last week announced an agreement under which Tyson Foods will acquire all outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands. The all-cash transaction is valued at $8.6 billion, which includes Hillshire Brands' oustanding net debt. Additionally, Tyson Foods will make a payment of $163 million to cover the termination fee that resulted in Hillshire Brands' terminated merger agreement with Pinnacle Foods.

“By investing in Hillshire Brands and its collection of leading brands, we have a unique opportunity to transform an important segment of our business, and position Tyson Foods to meet American consumers’ growing demand for protein at breakfast and throughout the day,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “We operate in a competitive and complex marketplace that demands bold steps to remain an industry leader. I am confident that together Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands have the right products and the right people to create years of enhanced shareholder value and ensure more choices for our customers and consumers.”

The combination of the two companies is promising, as it will help reposition Tyson as a leader in the prepeared foods category, the companies said. Hillshire Brands' robust roster of products in the breakfast category also will allow Tyson to capture numerous opportunities.

“We are confident that the two companies can learn a great deal from each other, and we recognize that Hillshire Brands’ value comes from its people, brands and processes. As we begin planning how to bring these companies together, we intend to proceed in a thoughtful manner that honors the strengths embedded in both cultures that have made each of them successful," Smith said.
 

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Psi Bands forms charitable partnership with National Breast Cancer Foundation

BY Michael Johnsen

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. — In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Psi Bands on Monday formed a charitable partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which provides help to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. For every set of Psi Bands’ Color Play design — the pink striped band — purchased during the month of October, a donation will be made to NBCF.
 
“My grandmother, mother-in-law, great aunt and several dear friends are breast cancer survivors," said Romy Taormina, Psi Bands co-founder. "We consider it an honor to join forces with NBCF and support its mission of help and hope for those with breast cancer.”
 
Psi Bands are stylish acupressure wrist bands that are FDA-cleared for the relief of nausea due to chemotherapy, as well as anesthesia, morning sickness and motion sickness/travel. Psi Bands provide a drug-free option for nausea relief that does not interfere with other medications, and as such, may be used as an adjunct to pharmacological antiemetics for control of chemotherapy-related nausea, the company said. 
 

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Q&A: The eyes have it with Alcon’s Mike McAvoy

BY Michael Johnsen

Drug Store News recently sat down with Alcon’s Mike McAvoy, head of OTC sales, to discuss opportunities in eye-care.

DSN: What is Alcon doing to support its overall eyeSOLUTION proposition?

Mike McAvoy: Alcon plans to launch two campaigns this year in support of the overall initiative. The first, Get an A+ in Eye Care, will encourage families to think about visiting the eye doctor as they get ready to head back to school. The Science of Beautiful Eyes campaign will launch shortly after, and will be aimed at helping women take care of their eyes. … Alcon also is looking to social media to engage our customers outside of the retail setting. Consumers are encouraged to visit one of our many platforms to learn about the program and retrieve valuable coupons. We reach our customer base through www.TheEyeSolution.com. They also can follow us on Twitter (@TheEyeSolution ) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/theeyesolution).

DSN: What are the trends driving the business of eye-care?

McAvoy: There are … three significant trends that are impacting the eye care over-the-counter market: The aging of the American population means more people will be impacted by dry eye; the explosion of growth in self-diagnosis has driven sales of allergy medication [and] the dry eye treatment category; and noncompliance with proper lens care is a persistent issue for contact lens wearers that has left the contact lens solution category flat for more than a decade.

We strongly believe that consumers need clarity when determining the best OTC treatment. They are overwhelmed in the store with dozens of different eye health treatment options. We believe that by providing clarity to the shopper, we will increase store visits and grow basket size. We are developing cross-category partnerships to drive enhanced consumer engagement in both eye beauty and eye health.

DSN: What are some of the new products being introduced by Alcon into the eyeSOLUTION portfolio of products?

McAvoy: While Alcon will not be introducing new products to the eyeSOLUTION portfolio, we are currently in most major retail stores and are very excited that regional retailers can now participate in the program through our menu options.

Alcon is committed to helping people see better by providing innovative eye care products that restore, preserve and enhance healthy vision in every stage of life. Products currently featured in the eyeSOLUTION portfolio include: Clear Care Solution, ICAPS Eye Vitamins, Naphcon-A Eye Allergy Drops, Opti-Free Brand, Systane Eye Drops and Zaditor Eye Allergy Drops.

Looking further into the future, Alcon plans to create customized shopping marketing programs targeting pharmacists and Hispanic customers in 2015. We are also working with our retail partners to find solutions for shoppers in eye care as well as across the personal care, health and beauty categories.

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