US food group Sara Lee is understood to have rejected a takeover offer from Brazilian meat giant JBS due to a disagreement over price.
Sara Lee’s management has been in talks to sell the business to JBS for a few months, Bloomberg reported today (20 December). However, the Jimmy Dean foods maker has turned down an offer from JBS, deeming it “too low”.
It is understood the bid was less than Sara Lee’s intraday high of $17.62 on 17 December, when the Wall Street Journal reported the companies were in talks. The stock closed at $17.26 that day; at that price, Sara Lee was valued at $11bn.
The situation, however, remains fluid, sources told the publication, with Sara Lee “considering other options” for the company.
The future of Sara Lee has been in question for some months. The firm sold off its North American fresh bakery operations to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo in a deal worth $959m last month.
The sale followed months of speculation over Sara Lee’s domestic bread arm and the company said the sale meant it could focus on its protein and coffee operations.