Inside these posts: Marcel Smits

Visit our Filed page for categories. To browse by specific topic, see our Inside page. For a list of companies covered on this site, visit our Companies page.


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 »

Sale would cut-short Sara Lee transformation

In the past five years, Sara Lee Corp. once a hodgepodge of consumer brands, has narrowed its focus to food. But its businesses, which include Douwe Egberts coffee and Hillshire Farm deli meats, still have little in common, one reason the company has become a tempting takeover target.

Earlier this year, Sara Lee’s board rebuffed an approach by private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. In recent weeks, it has been considering a sale of the company to Brazilian meat processor JBS SA, people familiar with the matter said. Get the full story »

Sara Lee not craving U.S. coffee deals

Sara Lee Corp. will not rush to make acquisitions in the U.S. coffee market, even as it revamps its business to focus on coffee and meat, its interim chief executive said.

Speculation about deals in the U.S. coffee business has circulated since earlier this month when Starbucks Corp said it wanted to end its distribution deal with Kraft Foods Inc, which has sold bagged Starbucks coffee at supermarkets for the past 12 years. Get the full story »

Sara Lee affirms 2011 outlook

Sara Lee Corp. on Tuesday reaffirmed its 2011 financial outlook and said it is weighing external and internal candidates for its top job. Get the full story »

Sara Lee swings to profit, but shares slide

Sara Lee swung to a profit during its fourth quarter on higher sales and cost cuts, with a net income of $192 million for the Downers Grove-based maker of Jimmy Dean sausage and Senseo coffee, up from an $11 million loss a year ago.  Sales increased 4 percent to $2.77 billion for the fourth quarter. But the company fell short of analyst expectations by other measures, and shares fell in late morning trading.

“We delivered strong bottom line improvements, generally grew our market shares, reinvested in our brands and innovation to drive future results,” interim chief executive officer Marcel Smits said in a call with analysts. “And we did all of that in the face of recessions in most of our largest markets.” Get the full story »