Sara Lee Board Agrees In Principle To Divide The Company Into Two Public Entities
Sara Lee Corp. announced that its board of directors has agreed in principle to divide the company into…
Sara Lee Corp. announced that its board of directors has agreed in principle to divide the company into two separate, publicly traded companies. The separation is expected to be completed in early calendar year 2012. Each company will have leading consumer brands, compelling growth prospects and strong potential to deliver long-term value to shareholders.
Under the plan approved by its board, Sara Lee’s North American Retail and North American Foodservice businesses (excluding the North American beverage business) will be spun off, tax-free, into a new public company that will retain the “Sara Lee” name. Its leading brands will include Sara Lee, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Chef Pierre and State Fair. The new company would have reported approximately $4.1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2010.
The yet to be named other company will consist of Sara Lee’s current International Beverage and Bakery businesses, as well as the North American beverage business. Its leading brands will include Douwe Egberts, Senseo, Pickwick, Maison du Café, L’OR, Café Pilão, Marcilla and Bimbo. This entity would have reported approximately $4.6 billion in revenue in fiscal 2010 using fiscal 2010 actual exchange rates.
Each company is projected to have an investment grade credit profile, a competitive dividend yield, a corporate tax rate of approximately 35 % and future financial flexibility with a targeted gross leverage of 2.0x EBITDA. In conjunction with the planned separation, the board of directors intends to declare a $3.00 per share special dividend on the company’s common stock, the majority of which will be funded with proceeds from the sale of the company’s North American Fresh Bakery business. The special dividend is expected to be declared and paid in fiscal 2012 and before completion of the spin-off of Sara Lee’s North American Retail and North American Foodservice businesses.