The board of Gold Kist Inc., the Atlanta-based chicken processor currently subject to a hostile takeover bid by Pilgrim’s Pride, has requested that its stockholders take no action at this time in response to the offer. The board said it would review the offer and advise shareholders accordingly.

Pilgrim’s Pride has made an unsolicited tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Gold Kist at a price of US$20.00 per share.

In a statement, Gold Kist said: “Gold Kist’s board of directors will carefully review the terms of the unsolicited tender offer, which is at the same price as Pilgrim’s unsolicited proposal announced on August 18, 2006. The board, in accordance with its fiduciary duties, will review and consider Pilgrim’s unsolicited tender offer and will make a recommendation to stockholders on or before October 12, 2006.”

The offer represents a 55% premium over Gold Kist’s closing stock price on the day before Pilgrim’s Pride made its first move for Gold Kist, the third largest chicken producer in the US. That offer values Gold Kist at around $1bn, plus the assumption of $144m of Gold Kist’s debt.