Sara Lee sells three Spanish bakery plants

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Spanish bakery Economics Sara lee

Sara Lee is selling three of its bakery plants in Spain to Grupo Siro because of weakness in the Spanish market.

The agreement will cut down Sara Lee’s presence in the Spanish bakery business to 8 factories, 55 distribution centres and 2,500 workers.

Difficult economic situation

“The economic situation in Spain is very difficult at the moment,”​ said Sara Lee spokesperson Mike Cummins.

He said the sale of the bakery factories was a reaction to the growing weakness of the Spanish bakery market in wake of the economic crisis, and an attempt to cut costs and reinvest in growing segments of the business.

A total of about 600 workers are employed at the three plants located in Briviesca (Burgos), Antequera (Malaga) and Aguimes (Gran Canaria).

Grupo Siro has pledged to maintain existing levels of production at each facility and to retain all existing members of staff.

Following the deal, the Spanish company, established in 1991, will increase its workforce to some 3,100 employees and 14 production facilities.

It already has a significant presence in the bakery market in Southern Europe where it markets a range of products including bread roll, dessert and sliced bread.

Market ambitions

With this agreement, the terms of which have not been revealed, Grupo Siro is fulfilling its market ambitions earlier than expected.

“This transaction brings significant growth to Grupo Siro, allowing us to achieve our strategic plans ahead of schedule,”​ said company owner J.M. Gonzalez Serna.

Meanwhile, Sara Lee will continue to own and market all of its Spanish bakery products.

“This agreement allows us to further improve production economics and supply our Spanish customers with the products they know and love,”​ said Frank Van Oers, CEO of Sara Lee International Beverage and Bakery.

Following the transaction, Cummins said the company would continue to focus on product innovation and improvements in production processes.

The agreement is pending approval from the Spanish Competition Authorities.

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