Sara Lee now spinning off coffee and tea
by Eric Schroeder
PARIS — Sara Lee Corp. on Tuesday said it will spin off its international coffee and tea business, but will keep its North American meats business. The announcement was made by Jan Bennink, executive chairman of Sara Lee, as part of the Deutsche Bank Global Consumer Conference being held in Paris.
Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee previously had said it would spin off both businesses to create two publicly traded companies.
“This transaction is more than a spin-off of one business segment — we are really separating a global company into two, independent pure-play companies, which adds complexity as well as opportunity,” Mr. Bennink said. “As we began to get into the details of separating the two businesses, we determined there are greater efficiencies to be gained from spinning off the international coffee business.”
Mr. Bennink said Sara Lee sees important opportunities for growth within the coffee and tea business.
“With a renewed focus on base coffee products, continued investment in new technology and commitment to build on the potential in the tea business, we see a bright future for this company,” he said. “We will maintain our focus on innovation and increase marketing and advertising.”
Sara Lee also said the sale of its North American bakery business to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo is expected to close in early fiscal 2012.