Sara Lee bakery business eyed by Grupo Bimbo

By Reuters
Posted Oct. 26, 2010 at 5:40 p.m.

Grupo Bimbo is the lead bidder to buy Sara Lee Corp.’s North American bread business for about $1 billion, though a deal could be several weeks away, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

Sara Lee, which declined to comment, had said last month it planned to spend more on its North American bakery business and raise some prices as it looks to improve performance in that lagging business.

That announcement to invest in the business had come after some suitors walked away from the bakery auction, sources familiar with the situation previously told Reuters.

Bloomberg reported that some private-equity funds are still looking at the bread business, though Bimbo has emerged as the likeliest buyer.

Bimbo declined to comment.

Mexico City-based Bimbo bought the U.S. bread-making unit of Canada’s George Weston Ltd for $2.38 billion in December 2008, increasing its presence in the eastern United States.

Bimbo reported last week a 14 percent drop in third-quarter net profit due to higher taxes while revenues barely grew, with U.S. operations dented by a stronger peso.

Sara Lee initially hoped to get $1.5 billion for the bread business, but the unit may ultimately only fetch $1 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier this month, private equity firm Apollo Global Management approached Sara Lee about a potential buyout, Reuters previously reported.

The New York Post also reported that KKR and Co. made an approach to Sara Lee, but the food company rebuffed the offer.

Shares of Sara Lee closed at $14.81, up 31 cents or 2.1 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.

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  1. bob Oct. 27, 2010 at 7:56 a.m.

    Then now we have a mexican company taking over a american icon baker,Bimbo will change sara lee”s products to there own substandard goods

  2. RegularGuy Oct. 27, 2010 at 10:32 a.m.

    Yeah, if Sara Lee has any smarts, they’ll insist that the buyer drop ‘Sara Lee’ from the product lines ASAP. Bimbo will turn SL’s good product lines into cheap crap.

  3. Al Kholic Nov. 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Both you two are fools!!

  4. Solo Slicc Nov. 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Why this assumption that the Bimbo company is going to produce inferior products? Besides sliced bread, they also produce Boboli pizza, Thomas’ English Muffins and Entenmann’s cakes. I never tasted an Entenmanns cake that tasted like “cheap crap.”