Chicago-based The Hillshire Brands Co. signed an agreement to sell 100% of the shares of its Australian subsidiary Kitchens of Sara Lee Pty Ltd to a subsidiary ofHillshire Farms grilled chicken breast McCain Foods Ltd., an international leader in the frozen food industry with U.S. headquarters in Lisle, Ill. Hillshire reports the Kitchens of Sara Lee business as the “Australian Bakery” business. Also included in the transaction are license rights to certain intellectual property used in the Australian Bakery business in the Asia-Pacific region. The total amount of consideration payable in connection with the transaction is approximately $85 million based on recent exchange rates, subject to adjustment. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2013, and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance.

“The Sara Lee Australian bakery operation is an excellent business that will complement McCain's strengths,” says Sean Connolly, chief executive officer of Hillshire Brands. “The sale of this business enables Hillshire Brands to focus on driving growth and innovation in our retail and foodservice segments in North America.”

Hillshire Brands’ Australian Bakery business has approximately 500 employees and one primary manufacturing facility in Australia. The business produces and sells a variety of bakery and other food products to retail and foodservice customers in Australia and other parts of the Pacific Rim under the Sara Lee brand name. No other Sara Lee branded fresh bakery products are affected by this transaction.

McCain Foods was named Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ 2012 Frozen Foods Processor of the Year. Click here to read the corporate feature story, and click here to learn more about its $34 million renovation to its Plover, Wis., plant.