Sara Lee considering sale of its European chilled dough business to French investment fund Sagard for €115M

UTRECHT , November 7, 2011 (press release) – Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE:SLE - News) today announced it is considering on an exclusive basis a binding offer from Sagard for the sale of EuroDough (Sara Lee's European chilled dough business) for a purchase price of €115 million (approximately $159 million at current exchange rates). The transaction is expected to be completed within 90 days and remains subject to consultations with works councils and regulatory clearance.

EuroDough, headquartered in France, is the leading European chilled dough player with operations in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. The business runs three manufacturing facilities and includes approximately 430 employees. In fiscal 2011, the business generated net sales of $184 million.

"The divestiture of the European chilled dough business in France advances Sara Lee's announced strategy of creating two pure-play publicly traded companies poised for growth," said Jan Bennink, executive chairman of the board, Sara Lee Corp. "This transaction would complete the divestment of Sara Lee's European Bakery operations and enable our international business to focus on its core coffee and tea activities."

Sara Lee recently closed the sale of its North American fresh bakery business. The company also has reached an agreement to sell its fresh bakery business in Spain and Portugal in a transaction expected to close by the end of the calendar year. Should the current process in France lead to a divestiture, Sara Lee is expected to have received more than $1 billion in proceeds from its North American and European bakery assets.

About Sara Lee Corporation

Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE:SLE - News) and it's leading portfolio of food and beverage brands, including Ball Park, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Pickwick Teas, Sara Lee and Senseo, generate nearly $9 billion in annual net sales from continuing operations and employ approximately 20,000 people worldwide. In January, 2011, Sara Lee Corp. announced that it will divide the company into two pure -play publicly-traded companies, one focused on the international coffee and tea market and the other on North American meats. For more information on the company, please visit http://www.saralee.com.

About Sagard

Sagard Private Equity Partners is a French investment fund that provides equity capital to support the development of midsized companies led by ambitious management teams. Created by the Desmarais Family (Power Corporation of Canada) in 2003, it manages close to €1.5 billion in funds. Since 2004, Sagard and its team of 10 professionals have carried out 18 investments in the industrial and service sectors. For more information: http://www.sagard.com

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