DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. – The board of directors for Sara Lee Corp. on Thursday unanimously approved the separation of its international Coffee & Tea business (“CoffeeCo”) and approved a 1-for-5 reverse stock split of shares of Sara Lee common stock to take effect after the separation.
Sara Lee also announced boards of directors for its international coffee and tea company and its North American meats company, which currently is referred to as “MeatCo.”
A distribution of the CoffeeCo common stock will be made after market close on June 28 to an exchange agent on behalf of the Sara Lee shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 14. CoffeeCo will pay a $3 per share special dividend after the distribution of the CoffeeCo common stock. CoffeeCo then will merge with a subsidiary of D.E. Master Blenders 1753 N.V., the ordinary shares of D.E. Master Blenders 1753 will be exchanged for the shares of CoffeeCo common stock and all of the ordinary shares of D.E. Master Blenders 1753 will be distributed to the CoffeeCo shareholders.
Sara Lee shareholders will receive one ordinary share of D.E. Master Blenders 1753 for each share of Sara Lee common stock. After the separation and prior to the market open on June 29, Sara Lee will affect the 1-for-5 reverse stock split of Sara Lee common stock. Every five shares of Sara Lee common stock will be converted into one share of Sara Lee common stock.
The board of directors for the international coffee and tea company, D.E. Master Blenders 1753, will include four new board members and three existing directors from Sara Lee Corp. As previously announced, Jan Bennink, currently executive chairman of Sara Lee Corp., will serve as non-executive chairman of the board. The spin-off should be completed by the end of June.
Sara Lee Corp. is also spinning off Meat Co. Upon completion, Christopher Begley, currently director of Sara Lee Corp. and the former chairman and chief executive officer of Hospira, Inc., will serve as non-executive chairman of the board for MeatCo. The board will feature three new board members and five existing Sara Lee Corp. directors. The board intends to add one more member, which would bring the total number of directors to nine.