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Sara Lee poised to sell French bakery business Eurodough for €115m

By Oliver Nieburg , 09-Nov-2011

Sara Lee has announced that it is considering an offer from French private equity firm Sagard for its European chilled dough business Eurodough.

Eurodough is based in France and has operations in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. It holds three production sites and employs around 430 staff. In 2011, the company generated net sales of €135 million.

The offer stands at €115m and is expected to be completed after regulatory approval within 90 days.

Jan Bennink, executive chairman at Sara Lee said: “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,”

“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,” he said.

Sara Lee announced publically that it was in talks over Eurodough after a week of speculation that had also linked another private equity firm Trilantic Capital Partners to the business.

The news came shortly before Sara Lee completed the sale of its North American Fresh Bakery business to Grupo Bimbo. Earlier in October, Grupo Bimbo had also acquired Sara Lee’s fresh bakery businesses in Spain and Portugal for €115m.

Also last month, Ralcorp closed a €399m deal for Sara Lees refrigerated dough operations in the US.

Sara Lee acquired Eurodough in 2001 from US brewing company Anheuser Busch. Sources told Reuters that the business has annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about €15m.

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