Flowers closes Sara Lee, Earthgrains deal

Flowers closes Sara Lee, Earthgrains deal

US baker Flowers Foods has purchased the royalty-free licenses to use the Sara Lee and Earthgrains brands in California from Groupo Bimbo.

The deal, which was approved by the US Department of Justice in October, had been delayed when Bimbo attempted to pull out of the agreement. It will see Flowers increase its share of the Californian bakery market, the group said.

"Now that the transaction has closed, the rollout of Sara Lee and Earthgrains products on our distribution routes will begin immediately in Southern California and continue northward in phases over the coming months," said George Deese, chairman CEO.

Flowers will also find out whether its bid to acquire the Hostess Brands bread business is successful this week. The group is currently the stalking horse bidder for various Hostess bread brands, with a competitive auction scheduled to take place tomorrow (28 February).

Earlier this month, Flowers delayed providing guidance for 2013 pending the outcome of these two acquisitions.