KKR potentially interested in Sara Lee: Sources

By Reuters
Posted Jan. 13 at 11:07 a.m.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is potentially interested in Sara Lee and could possibly partner with an interested party as bidders emerge for the food group, two sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

Sara Lee recently has attracted interest from Brazilian meat processor JBS SA and from a group of private equity firms including Apollo Global Management, sources previously told Reuters. That consortium also includes Bain Capital and TPG Capital, a separate source said.

It was unclear what KKR would do, for example whether it might seek to join with interested parties such as JBS or possibly with a private equity consortium led by Apollo.

However, The New York Post on Thursday reported that Sara Lee’s board was upset with KKR’s offer and had decided to shut KKR out of potential sale talks. The paper cited sources familiar with the situation.

Sara Lee, with a market value of about $11.5 billion, has been examining various options such as selling itself or splitting itself up into meat and beverage units.

The board is expected to approve a plan to split the company at a meeting later this month unless a compelling takeover bid emerges, a separate source familiar with the situation said.

KKR had been interested in Sara Lee last year, The New York Post reported at the time, saying that the foodmaker received an unsolicited offer that could have been worth $12 billion from KKR, and Sara Lee’s board rebuffed the offer.

Sara Lee could not be reached immediately for comment. All the private equity firms declined comment.


The future of Sara Lee, whose brands include Jimmy Dean sausages and Senseo coffee, has been in question for some months.

It has been functioning with an interim chief executive since August when Brenda Barnes left after suffering a stroke.

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One comment:

  1. MarkRG Jan. 13 at 8:27 pm

    You’ll need to find another picture, they spun off the bread unit to Bimbo(that’s pronounced beem-bo)a good while ago.