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Sara Lee Corp., Downers Grove, Ill., announced an agreement to sell its fresh bakery businesses in Spain and Portugal to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. for approximately $154 million in cash. The agreement includes all Sara Lee fresh bakery brands in Spain and Portugal as well as seven manufacturing facilities. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance, is expected to close within 60 days.
Sara Lee holds the No. 1 position among branded bakery manufacturers in Spain, with leading brands such as Bimbo, Martinez, Ortiz and Silueta. In fiscal 2011, the business generated net sales of $408 million. It employs approximately 2,000 people.
"The move to Grupo Bimbo is a natural next step that can benefit the Sara Lee bakery team and brands in Spain and Portugal, as they would become part of an organization fully dedicated to the bakery category," says Jan Bennink, executive chairman of the board for Sara Lee. "Divesting the bakery businesses allows Sara Lee's international portfolio to become simpler and more focused on coffee and tea, the categories around which we are building a leading pure-play international company."
Sara Lee's remaining international bakery businesses headquartered in France and Australia remain the subject of a divestiture process and a strategic review, respectively. These two businesses generated aggregate revenue of approximately $318 million in fiscal year 2011, and sell products primarily in France, Sweden, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.