Sara Lee Corporation, Downers Grove, Ill., said it expects in 2013 to move its North American business headquarters -- with as many as 500 jobs -- to downtown Chicago. Businesses involved include Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park and Sara Lee .
Sara Lee Corporation announced earlier this year that it will split into two separate pure-play companies in the first half of calendar year 2012, an international coffee and tea business and a North American meats company. Names for the two companies will be unveiled at a later date.
“This is a huge win for the City of Chicago, as Sara Lee Corporation has chosen the city to be the home of the new North American Meats company,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The new company will bring these high-paying jobs to the city, as well as its first-class brands and leadership in this key sector.”
Sara Lee said it plans to locate at least 500 jobs -- and up to 650 total jobs -- at the Chicago location. Officials noted that Sara Lee will receive between $5 million and $6.5 million in TIF assistance, based on the number of jobs created, pending approvals from a community development commission and Chicago's city council.
“Today, we strengthen our long relationship with our hometown, the city of Chicago,” said Jan Bennink, Sara Lee's executive chairman. “This move will put our new company’s headquarters in the heart of one of the world’s business capitals and will be one of the key elements of building our more nimble, creative and innovative culture.”
“We are a meats company, with leading brands such as Aidells™, Ball Park™, Hillshire Farm™ and Jimmy Dean™ and our new headquarters will showcase our products and create a work environment that inspires our employees’ passion for our business, ” added Bennink.