Sara Lee

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Sara Lee, Mead Johnson may sell soon: Goldman

From Bloomberg | Goldman Sachs analysts named a group of companies Friday that they said have at least a 30 percent chance of being sold in the next 12 months. The list includes Downers Grove-based Sara Lee Corp., Glenview-based Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. and Allergan Inc.

Sara Lee plans more price increases

Sara Lee Corp. will raise overall prices in the high single-digit percentages this fiscal year, with increases on everything from Jimmy Dean sausage to frozen pies, an executive said at the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture Summit Monday. Get the full story »

Bimbo eyes debt sale to finance Sara Lee deal

Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo SAB, the second largest bakery company in the world by revenue, may issue debt in the U.S. or Mexico to help finance its $959 million acquisition of Sara Lee Corp.’s  fresh bakery assets in North America.

According to Armando Giner, director of investor relations at Bimbo, market conditions are favorable at the moment and the company is analyzing the possibility of issuing debt in both countries, as well as using bank financing. Get the full story »

Regulators scrutinizing Sara Lee sell-offs, says EU

From Bloomberg | Sara Lee Corp.’s sale of its insecticide unit to S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. is among the company’s divestments that has required “extra care” from regulators, the European Union’s antitrust chief said Thursday. The bug-killer deal is the latest Sara Lee sell-off to be examined in-depth by the European Commission after the regulator imposed conditions on Unilever’s plan to buy Sara Lee’s shower-gel and European detergents.

Illinois employers get $41M for health coverage

A new federal report shows employers in Illinois received nearly $41 million last year to help them maintain health care coverage for early retirees. The federal funding comes from a program created by the Affordable Care Act, the national health care law. In Illinois, 337 employers have been accepted into the early retiree program. Get the full story »

Sara Lee takes aim at single-serve coffee market

Sara Lee may be breaking up, but company executives say that will make it much more focused on the business in which it competes.

Chief Executive Marcel Smits laid out Sara Lee’s plans at the Consumer Analysts Conference of New York Tuesday morning to take share from Nestle, the international leader in single-serve coffee.

Single-serve, made from individual pouches brewed in specialized machines, has become the latest battleground for the coffee industry. Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and even retailers such as Wal-Mart are expected to play a crucial role in the U.S. battle. Get the full story »

Sara Lee gives more breakup details; shares rise

Sara Lee's Ball Park franks on display at a grocery story, Jan. 28, 2011. The company is splitting into two public ones. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

On the same day that Sara Lee Corp. reported second-quarter earnings, its executives attempted to clarify an announcement made in January that Sara Lee plans to split into two publicly traded companies early next year. The company’s shares rose 2 percent in midday trading.

The Downers Grove-based maker of cheesecake, Jimmy Dean sausages and other food products reported net income of $880 million, or $1.37 per share, for the quarter that ended on Jan. 1, up from $371 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Last month, Sara Lee announced that its North American Retail and North American Foodservice business would be spun off, keeping the company’s name and remaining in Downers Grove. The International Beverage and International Bakery divisions will constitute a second company under the working name of CoffeeCo. CoffeeCo is expected to remain in the U.S. at first because of tax considerations. Get the full story »

Sara Lee announces plans to split in 2; stock drops

Sara Lee desserts in a grocer's freezer. (AP)

Downers Grove-based food maker Sara Lee announced Friday that it will divide itself two publicly-traded companies. The plan, which has been approved by Sara Lee’s board, divides the company into North American and European divisions. One company will focus on North American grocery and supplying products to the restaurant industry, and the other on European coffee, tea and bread.

In a call with investors, Marcel Smits, the company’s newly-appointed CEO, acknowledged that Sara Lee had received “unsolicited interest” in buying the company. He said that after a rigorous review, the company’s board determined that splitting the company was in shareholders’ best interest, adding that the individual companies are likely to do better on their own.

Sara Lee will issue a $3 special dividend to shareholders as part of the split. Get the full story »

Sara Lee sets Friday webcast to discuss future

Sara Lee Corp. will hold a webcast Friday morning to provide an update on “strategic initiatives.”

The Downers Grove-based company has been the subject of rampant sale and breakup rumors since the fall that have reached a fever pitch this week. Get the full story »

Sara Lee pushing ahead on break up plan, for now

Sara Lee Corp. is pushing ahead with plans to separate its two main businesses, after offers from interested buyers came in below the company’s price expectations, people familiar with the matter said.

The expected move is likely to squelch what had been a mounting auction for the Downers Grove-based company. But it could set up opportunity for deals in the future. Get the full story »

Takeover talk weighs heavily on Sara Lee stock

Stock in Downers Grove-based Sara Lee Corp. took a dive Wednesday amid uncertainty about the company’s future. It closed down 5.7 percent, to $18.52.

Investors have been lifting the stock to 52-week highs since early December on reports that the company is likely to be broken up or sold. Get the full story »

Sara Lee rejects private equity group offer

Sara Lee Corp. has rejected a takeover offer valued between $18.70 and $20 a share from a private equity group led by Apollo Global Management LP, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

Sara Lee has been weighing splitting up the company into separate meat and beverage units, or accepting a takeover offer. Sara Lee’s board was scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday to weigh its options, a source previously told Reuters. Get the full story »

JBS makes verbal Sara Lee offer, sources say

Brazilian beef processor JBS has made a verbal buyout offer for Sara Lee Corp. and is expected to submit a written proposal in the coming day, two sources familiar with the situation said.

JBS made its verbal overture on Monday evening, the sources said. The terms of the offer were not immediately available. Get the full story »

Sara Lee to weigh buyout offers this week

Sara Lee Corp. will decide its future this week as it weighs offers from Brazilian beef processor JBS SA and a group led by private-equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC and investor C. Dean Metropoulos, people familiar with the matter said.

The private-equity group has submitted an offer for Sara Lee of between $18 and $19 a share and JBS, with the help of the Blackstone Group, has indicated it will bid soon, the people said. Apollo and Metropoulos, a Connecticut entrepreneur who acquired Pabst Brewing Co. last year, are leading a consortium that includes Bain Capital LLC and TPG Capital LP, the people said. Get the full story »

Talk of a pending sale lifts Sara Lee stock

Crain’s Chicago Business | Shares in Sara Lee hit  a 52-week high Friday on talk that the food company could be sold soon.