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JBS Group Targets Sara Lee

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JBS Group Targets Sara Lee

JBS Group Targets Sara Lee
January 26
15:46 2011

The world’s largest beef producer JBS Group of Brazil is reported to be preparing an offer of $21 a share for Sara Lee, which would value the US-based food and beverage group at about $13.4b. Sara Lee is believed to have already rejected an offer of about $11b from JBS.

If successful this time, JBS is expected to break up Sara Lee. Private equity group Blackstone is likely to be interested in Sara Lee’s coffee business.

The acquisition of Sara Lee would be in line with JBS’s geographical expansion strategy. The Brazilian beef processor has been expanding by acquisitions in the US and Europe. In North America, JBS acquired meat processor Swift & Co in 2007 and part of Smithfield Foods in 2008. The following year it bought poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride.

Sara Lee’s North American meat retail business had sales of $2.8b last year, which would be equivalent to 15% of JBS’s total revenue.

Sara Lee recently sold its European personal care business to Unilever for £1b and has been divesting in order to focus on its coffee and meat operations.

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