Arkansas Business

Tyson Foods

Meat producer Tyson Foods Inc. of Arkansas has won a bidding war for Hillshire Brands, the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs, with a $63 per share offer.

Both Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride had been bidding of Hillshire Brands. Tyson had previously offered $50 per share for the company. Pilgrim's Pride then raised its bid to $55 per share.

Pilgrim's Pride says it is withdrawing its offer. The offer from Tyson is worth $7.75 billion based on Hillshire's 123 million shares outstanding. Tyson values the deal at $8.55 billion, including debt.

A railcar maintenance company is to locate in the former Nordex USA wind turbine plant in Jonesboro and pledges to hire up to 350 employees.

TrinityRail Maintenance Services Inc. announced Thursday that it would expand the facility to accommodate its planned scope of work.

TrinityRail is a subsidiary of Trinity Industries Inc. of Dallas. The company provides an array of industrial products, including railcars, barges, storage containers and other transportation-related goods and services.

The ultimate biker song could serve as a marketing campaign for a new push from state tourism officials, reports Talk Business & Politics.

In the last two years, Arkansas has begun marketing its scenic highways to motorcyclists who are far from the drifter image painted in cult classic films like “Easy Rider.” We’re not talking Hell’s Angels, says Arkansas Tourism director Joe David Rice.

Economic development officials say a new rice mill is headed to Pine Bluff. The state announced Monday that Southwind Milling Co. LLC will build a rice mill at the city's port.

The corporation is part of Optimum Group, which has been farming in Mississippi Delta states since 2010.

Construction of the new mill is expected to begin immediately at the site in the Pine Bluff Port's Harbor Industrial District. Officials say the plant will be operational by February 2015 and will initially employ 25 people.

Georgia-Pacific says it will invest $40 million in an expansion at its Fort Smith plant, which manufactures paper plates and other paper products.

Georgia-Pacific said Thursday that the new technology and equipment will increase the Dixie plant's current capacity for assorted sizes of paper plates. The plant now employs 350 workers, but the company says that number may grow once the expansion is complete next year.

The company operates 10 facilities throughout Arkansas with more than 2,400 workers in the state.

Tyson Foods

Hillshire Brands has another suitor. Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Co. is offering to buy Hillshire for $50 per share. That's $5 per share higher than Pilgrim's Pride offer earlier this week.

Hillshire Brands, which makes Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages, has been trying to buy Birds Eye frozen vegetables maker Pinnacle Foods for $4.23 billion.

But Tyson, one of the world's largest meat-processing companies, said its offer would make a more profitable company.

The Environmental Protection Agency says Clean Harbors El Dorado L.L.C. has agreed to pay a more than $581,000 penalty for improperly identifying and disposing of hazardous waste; improper storage of hazardous waste; and failure to comply with air emissions standards at its plant in El Dorado.

The EPA says the violations were discovered during inspections.

The Osceola City Council has unanimously approved the issuance of $1.5 billion in industrial revenue bonds for the planned Big River Steel mill.

The council approved the ordinance Monday night. Under the agreement, the city will take the title for the property then lease it back to Big River Steel for $1 a year.

According to the Blytheville Courier News, the agreement also calls for Big River Steel to pay 35 percent of regular millage taxes to the city annually for 20 years.

An environmental regulatory panel is to vote on whether to issue an air quality permit for the proposed $1.1 billion Big River Steel mill that backers want to build in northeast Arkansas.

The Pollution Control and Ecology Commission on Friday is to hear arguments from lawyers from steel business competitor Nucor, which is trying to block construction of the new mill.

An administrative law judge earlier rejected Nucor's challenge, but the permit still has to be approved by the commission for the plant to be built.

The Osceola City Council has scheduled a meeting to discuss issuing $1.5 billion of economic development bonds for the Big River Steel mill.

Mayor Dickie Kennemore says the council will meet May 5 to discuss issuing $1.5 billion in Act 9 bonds for the project. Kennemore tells The Jonesboro Sun that the city would not be liable in any way for the bonds.

Under the proposal, the steel mill would be owned by the city of Osceola and leased back to Big River Steel for $1 a year.