USA: Sara Lee Corporation Reshapes Portfolio To Tighten Global Business Focus
Sara Lee Corporation announced today the first steps of a significant reshaping of its business portfolio that will tighten the company's focus on a smaller number of global branded consumer packaged goods segments. Both acquisitions and dispositions will be used to concentrate the company's resources on three business segments: Food and Beverage, Intimates and Underwear, and Household Products. Business disposition plans announced today include initial public offerings and subsequent dispositions for Coach, a leading global leather goods business, and PYA/Monarch, the country's fourth-largest, full-service foodservice distributor. In addition, the company announced its intent to sell Champion, a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality athletic apparel, and the International Fabrics division of Courtaulds. These businesses do not fit with Sara Lee's renewed focus on branded consumer packaged goods segments in which the company can enjoy leading category positions around the world. These dispositions are designed to streamline the company's structure and create increased value for Sara Lee shareholders. "We have a new vision for Sara Lee, a vision that will focus our business portfolio and resources on a smaller number of more powerful global growth platforms," said C. Steve McMillan, president and chief operating officer. McMillan will assume the role of president and chief executive officer July 1. "What we have begun today allows us to preserve the benefits of diversification while improving the consistency and sustainability of our company's growth prospects and performance over the long term." Several acquisitions and investments also were announced that will strengthen Sara Lee's global position in its Food and Beverage, and Intimates and Underwear segments. These include:
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