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Sara Lee Sells Majority of Coffee Business!

24 Oct Posted by in Coffee News | Comments

By Alejandra Cancino

Tribune staff reporter

7:29 a.m. CDT, October 24, 2011

Sara Lee Corp. said on Monday it is selling a majority of its North American coffee and tea operation to The J.M Smucker Company for $350 million.

The sale is expected to close in early 2012. The Downers-Grove based company said it also plans to sell or close the remaining assets of its North American coffee business.

“In recent years, our North American coffee business has been foodservice-based and largely unbranded, which is a challenge in a highly competitive marketplace,” Jan Bennink, executive chairman of the board, said in a news release.

Bennink also said that J.M Smucker and Sara Lee have also entered into a licensing agreement to develop liquid coffee technologies to drive long-term growth. As a result of the deal, Sara Lee will receive a 10-year income stream totaling approximately $50 million, plus growth-related royalties, which will help cover its research and development and other support expenses, the company said.

“The addition of liquid coffee concentrate to the Smucker portfolio aligns with our desire to compete in all forms of coffee, adding to our roast and ground, single serve, instant, and ready-to-drink platforms,” Richard Smucker, chief executive officer of The J.M. Smucker Company, said in a news release.

Smucker owns the Folgers brand.

Sara Lee also said it will discontinue its Senseo coffee brand in North America in March 2012, with the exception of select online channels.

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