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Sara Lee Strengthens its International Beverages Business

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Sara Lee Strengthens its International Beverages Business

Sara Lee Strengthens its International Beverages Business
January 04
11:28 2012

Sara Lee has acquired Tea Forte, a US-based leader in the ultra-premium tea category, for an undisclosed sum. The deal is in line with Sara Lee’s plans to divide the group into two publicly traded, pure-play companies: one focused on meats in North America and the other focused on the international coffee and tea market.

Tea Forte posted revenues of $12 million in 2011 and is present at leading hotels, restaurants and luxury retailers in 35 countries. Tea Forte’s award-winning teas are available in loose format and in the company’s signature pyramid infuser.

“Acquiring Tea Forte fits perfectly into our strategy to spin off ‘CoffeeTeaCo’ as a pure-play coffee and tea company poised for strong growth,” says Jan Bennink, executive chairman of Sara Lee. CoffeeTeaCo will retain the current management team of Tea Forte to run the business independently before integrating it into its international coffee and tea operations.

Meanwhile, Sara Lee has completed the sale of the majority of its North American Foodservice coffee and tea operations to The JM Smucker Company for $350 million in cash. The two companies have also established a long-term partnership to collaborate on liquid coffee innovation.

“In recent years, our North American coffee business has been foodservice-based and largely unbranded, which is a challenge in a highly competitive marketplace,” says Jan Bennink. “Our decision to sell a major part of this business to Smucker is an example of Sara Lee Coffee and Tea’s renewed focus on sustainable, profitable growth and part of our mandate to create the strongest possible pure-play company.”

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