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U.S. Justice Department asks Tyson, Hillshire for details on deal

Aug 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has asked Tyson Foods Inc and Hillshire Brands Co for additional information related to Tyson's $7.7 billion offer for the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages.

The request relates to a "very small portion" of the combined business, the companies said in a statement.

Tyson in June outbid JBS SA's Pilgrim's Pride with a $63 per share offer for Hillshire in what would be the biggest deal yet in the global meat business.

Tyson's tender offer, which was scheduled to expire on July 16, has been extended until Aug. 19. The companies said they expect the deal to be completed by Sept. 27.

Antitrust agencies typically issue a request for additional information about a company's products or services, market conditions, where it does business, and the likely competitive effects of a merger.

Four antitrust experts told Reuters in June the deal would likely win approval from regulators since the companies tend to sell different products.

"If there is a category on the branded side that raises an (antitrust) issue, there's always an opportunity to sell off the brand," Jonathan Lewis, an antitrust expert with the law firm Baker Hostetler, said at the time.

(Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bangalore. Editing by Andre Grenon)