Sara Lee agrees to sell cleaning products unit

By Reuters
Posted Dec. 28, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.

Sara Lee said it agreed to sell its White King and Janola cleaning products business to Australia-based detergent maker Symex Holdings for 37.9 million euros ($49.7 million).

The deal brings Sara Lee closer to its goal of focusing on selling food, coffee and tea.

Sara Lee, which has already spun off its body care, air care businesses and its stake in a joint venture with India’s Godrej, expects the deal with Symex to close during the first quarter of 2011.

Over the past several years, Sara Lee has divested a number of businesses, including the Hanes underwear brand, to focus purely on foods and beverages like Senseo coffee and Hillshire Farm lunch meat.

The White King and Janola unit mainly makes and sells bleach, toilet, laundry and other cleaning products in Australia and New Zealand.

Earlier this year, raid bug spray maker SC Johnson agreed to buy Sara Lee’s remaining insecticides business.

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