The Hillshire Brands Co., Chicago, has signed an agreement to sell 100% of the shares of its Australian subsidiary Kitchens of Sara Lee Pty. Ltd., Lisarow, Australia, to a subsidiary of McCain Foods Pty. Ltd., Ballarat, Australia, an international leader in the frozen food industry. The transaction includes licensing rights to certain intellectual property used in the Australian bakery business in the Asia-Pacific region.

The transaction is valued at approximately $85 million in cash (based on recent exchange rates), subject to adjustment, and expected to close in the first half of 2013, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance.

“The Sara Lee Australian bakery operation is an excellent business that will complement McCain’s strengths,” says Sean Connolly, CEO of Hillshire Brands. “The sale of this business enables Hillshire Brands to focus on driving growth and innovation in our retail and foodservice segments in North America.”

Hillshire Brands’ Australian bakery business has approximately 500 employees and is one of the primary manufacturing facility in Australia, producing and selling a variety of bakery and other food products to retail and foodservice customers in Australia and other parts of the Pacific Rim under the Sara Lee brand name. No other Sara Lee branded fresh bakery products are affected by the transaction.

Source: Business Wire