As Tyson Foods continues to grow and diversify, it is looking at possible mergers and acquisitions. But Tom Hayes, who was just promoted to president of Tyson Foods on June 13, says the company is going to be selective in what types of company it might acquire.

“The assets that are going to be most attractive to us are ones that hit on each one of our filters, and built around our capabilities,” Hayes said while speaking at the Jefferies 2016 Global Consumer Conference, held on June 21.


The filters Hayes mentioned include:

  1. Branded businesses: Tyson Foods has a set of core brands that are driving its growth, including Tyson, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright, Jimmy Dean, State Fair and Aidells. Hayes notes that its branded business is growing and a strong brand would be highly attractive to the company.
  2. Protein-centric: Tyson Foods is looking most seriously at assets that are protein-centric. With success in the chicken, turkey, pork and beef sectors, Tyson Foods would like to further itself as a leader in proteins. “We like protein. Protein’s a growing space and we feel like we’ve demonstrated we can win there,” he said.
  3. Something with an international profile. Tyson, while based in the U.S., is also seeking to grow in other nations. It continues to actively pursue growth in China and India, but is also looking at other markets.
  4. Matching capabilities: Any potential acquisition of Tyson’s would need to be a good match for the company’s capabilities, whether they are its supply chain capabilities, its massive refrigerated and frozen network, or its capabilities for brand-building, research and development, and marketing.

“I think it would be surprising for us to make an acquisition that is just hitting on one of them, but I think it’s safe to say branded is at the top of our list,” said Hayes.