Sara Lee Corp., Downers Grove, Ill., said it expects by the end of this year to sell itsNorth American Refrigerated Doughbusiness toRalcorp Frozen Bakery Products, Inc., a division ofRalcorp Holdings, Inc., for $545 million.
The move follows Sara Lee's larger restructuring and reorganization efforts announced this May. Officials say this business provides retail private label products including basic and specialty biscuits, crescent rolls, pizza and pie crusts and toaster pastries.
“The sale of our North American Refrigerated Dough business to Ralcorp is another step forward for Sara Lee as we continue to prepare for our separation into two publicly-traded companies,” said Marcel Smits, Sara Lee CEO. “It will better enable our North American business to focus on its branded meats and frozen desserts products and establish a platform for a strong and independent future.”
Sara Lee’s North American Refrigerated Dough business employs approximately 700 people and includes manufacturing facilities in Forest Park, Ga. and Carrollton, Tex. The business generated revenues in excess of $300 million in fiscal 2010.
Kevin Hunt is a co-CEO at Ralcorp.
"We are excited about the addition of the refrigerated dough business to the Ralcorp family of products," he said. "This transaction will allow Ralcorp to be a private-brand leader in the $1.8 billion refrigerated dough category. Together with the refrigerated dough business, we will continue to provide our customers with the high-quality service and products they have come to expect from Ralcorp.
"In addition, given its higher margins and free cash flow, we expect this acquisition to result in the creation of significant value for Ralcorp shareholders. The percentage impact of this accretion will be even more significant after the Post Foods separation, as our private-brand earnings base will be smaller. Given the high quality of the business, the attractive financing markets and the tax attributes and synergy potential of the transaction, this acquisition represents the continuation of our strategy of enhancing shareholder value through private-brand acquisitions."
Hunt continued, "We welcome to the Ralcorp family the hard-working employees of Sara Lee's refrigerated dough business and expect they will continue to play an integral role in the success of our Company."
Upon completion of the transaction, the business will operate as part of a broader Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products division.