UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS — Sagard Private Equity Partners, a French investment fund, has offered to buy Sara Lee Corp.’s European chilled dough business, EuroDough, for about $159 million.

“The divestiture of the European chilled dough business in France advances Sara Lee’s announced strategy of creating two pure-play publicly traded companies poised for growth,” said Jan Bennink, executive chairman of the board for Sara Lee. “This transaction would complete the divestment of Sara Lee’s European Bakery operations and enable our international business to focus on its core coffee and tea activities.”

EuroDough is headquartered in France with operations in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden with fiscal sales of $184 million in fiscal 2011.

Sara Lee recently closed on its sales of the North American fresh bakery business and is expected to close on the sales of its fresh bakery business in Spain and Portugal by the end of the calendar year. If the EuroDough transaction goes through, Sara Lee expects to receive more than $1 billion in proceeds from its North American and European bakery assets.