Sara Lee sells bakery to Grupo BimboSara Lee's sale of its North American Bakery business is now fully baked. The company announced today that it's selling the unit to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo for $959 Million. The deal follows earlier reports that a sale was imminent. Sara Lee (SLE) says it's now better able to focus on other parts of its business, like its fast-growing international beverage operations. Sara Lee expects the Grupo Bimbo deal to close in the first half of next year.

"The sale of the North American Fresh Bakery business will allow us to aggressively invest in our core protein and coffee businesses. In both categories, we are a leading player, with healthy margins and a strong track record of innovation. We are actively pursuing growth here, organically and through acquisitions," said Marcel Smits, Sara Lee's interim CEO.

Sara Lee, Grupo Bimbo and the bakery industry have lately faced severe competition where cutthroat pricing has led to lower revenue and profits. Sara Lee, which also reported its first-quarter results today, noted that its North American fresh bakery business posted a 4.6% drop in net sales to $516 million in the quarter. The unit reported an operating loss of $1 million in the quarter, compared with income of $14 million last year.

On Tap: A $1 Billion Investment


The deal is expected to expand Grupo's Bimbo Bakeries USA, allowing it to enlarge its footprint in the U.S., particularly in the Midwest and Southeast. Bimbo Bakeries currently has a base in the Northeast and Texas.

The combined companies, with 28,000 employees, will operate 75 bakeries in 31 states, and serve customers through a network of more than 13,000 routes. And over the next the five years, Bimbo Bakeries USA expects to invest $1 billion in its manufacturing and service operations.

"We will build new bakeries where we need them. We will renew existing facilities. And we will improve our technology and infrastructure," BBU President Gary Prince said in a statement.

According to the companies, the merger will bring Sara Lee's Soft and Smooth products under the same roof as Bimbo Bakeries' Thomas', Oroweat, Bimbo and other brands. Sara Lee was up a slight 0.61% to $14.80 a share in premarket trading, over the previous day's close.



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temmr

Lets just put all of America up for sale, divide the sale proceeds and distrubute the money between 300 million Americans so we all can start over and move to the country of our choice. We are loosing our freedom and are consumed in debt so give the American people the option of having the profit of what it left before the few greedy take it all.

November 13 2010 at 10:58 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
carpro33

I'm with those who say "...to hell with Sara Lee...". If Bimbo (what an absolutely accurate name) feels they can expand and make a profit, it just goes to show what a bunch of incompetent a..holes are running Sara Lee.

November 13 2010 at 4:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gwt2018

think about the thousands of americans that currently work for sara lee and had no choice in who they sold out to that are just trying to make a honest living and support their families ,people boycotting will not help them at all.

November 12 2010 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ed

i'm pretty sure nashville is still in america which means the sara lee plant here is in america..........envy is so unbecoming on you folks

November 12 2010 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gooddistributors

Bimbo is already munufacturing many of its products sold here in the U.S. in Mexico. The reason they manufacture bread here in the US is because they cant bring it across and sell it here, it wont sell at all. Ive tasted the bread they manufacture in Mexico its terrible but what can those poor people do. They have no choice but Bimbo. Look at the Fortune 500. One of the most richest people is the owner of Bimbo in Mexico and we are making him rich.

November 12 2010 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
legalcld

And another American company sold to a foreign country! I won't be buying anymore of their products!

November 12 2010 at 3:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
raegarc

I will not buy these products anymore. It does not matter if the plants are still in the USA, if the company is owned by Mexico, that is where the profit goes.......hello...wake up America. It remains to be seen if they build more plants..as of today there is no gain in jobs.

November 12 2010 at 11:08 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
wytwitch54

YOU WONDER WHY WE ARE IN A RECESSION? JUST KEEP SENDING JOBS TO MEXICO, CHINA, CANADA,INDIA, ETCETC. I AM BOYCOTTING MANY PRODUCTS THAT ARE NOT MADE IN THE USA...WILL JUST ADD SARA LEE TO THE LIST.. THESE COMPANIES CAN ALL GO KISS MY ASS! WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE ITS TOO LATE! GO TO 'MADE IN THE USA.COM ' TO FIND PRODUCTS MADE HERE.. ALSO YOU CAN ADD ANY ITEMS THAT YOU KNOW OF THAT ARE USA MADE.

November 10 2010 at 5:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to wytwitch54's comment
Richard Gonzalez

Bimbo Bread company is adding jobs in the US the bread is made in the US and new plants will be built. Putting more people to work.

November 10 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
anitaman424

AMERICAN MADE COST TWICE AS MUCH AS ANYTHING ELSE. DO YOU REALLY THING THAT THE MAJORITY IS GOING TO PAY DOUBLE FOR SOMETHING BECAUSE IT'S MADE IN AMERICA? I AGREE THEY SHOULD, BECAUES IN THE LONG RUN, NOT BUYING AMERICAN WILL HURT US AND ALREADY IS. HOWEVER, SO MANY ARE PINCHING PENNIES NOW THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY AMERICAN. PERHAPS AMEERICA NEEDS TO LOWER THEIR COST OF LIVING. I MEAN DO WE REALLY NEED IT ALL? THE DESIGNER LABELS, THE FANCY CARS, HANDBAGS, HUGE HOMES, LATEST CELL PHONE, ETC. OUR GREED ONLY HURTS US ALL.

November 13 2010 at 8:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

Why do they put a worm in that cactus whiskey ? I'm not going to eat the coffee ring if they do that....Al-

November 10 2010 at 5:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mike edwards

can you imagine eating food made in some mexican plant who is there making certain they are clean

November 10 2010 at 5:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply