Sara Lee has announced it will close four US bakeries in a move to cut costs and eliminate excess manufacturing capacity.
In all, Sara Lee will eliminate 380 jobs in the plant consolidation within its bakery unit. The bakeries to be are in Chicago, Chattanooga, Memphis, Tennessee, and one in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The cutbacks are the largest in the bakery division since Sara Lee acquired Earthgrains, the second-largest US bakery, last August for $2.8 billion (€3bn) in cash and assumed debt. The deal gave Sara Lee the scale it desperately needed in its baking operation, which was primarily focused around its well-known frozen treats, such as pound cakes and cheesecakes.
Earthgrains was best known for its fresh breads sold under brands such as Colonial, IronKids and Grant's Farm.It had sales of $2.6 billion in its last fiscal year, about three times the revenue of Sara Lee's baking operations.
The closures will leave the bakery unit with 63 US plants.