Sara Lee Corporation announced today the intended sale of Brossard, its bakery business in France.

The proposed sale would include all of Brossard’s brands and activities, as well as related assets. While discussions are currently being held with the intended buyer, Saveurs de France, terms for the potential sale have not been disclosed. In accordance with local practice, the central works committee will be invited to give its advice.

Brossard produces a wide range of ambient and frozen pastry products that are sold in France under the Brossard brand name. As of December 31, 2000, the company employs 486 people across three sites, including Pithiviers, Castelsarrasin and the Villepinte headquarters. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2000, the company’s sales were approximately US$122 million (FRF$804 million).

“Although Brossard has a number of very successful brands in France, there are limited opportunities for Sara Lee to develop these brands on a European scale,” said Frank L. Meysman, executive vice president of Sara Lee Corporation and chairman of the board of management of Sara Lee/DE, Sara Lee’s management group responsible for Brossard’s operation. “We believe that Brossard will have better growth opportunities within a national, French operator such as Saveurs de France.”

This proposed divestment is part of Sara Lee’s strategic reshaping plan designed to strengthen the company’s stature as a global leader in the branded consumer packaged goods sector. The company plans to concentrate its resources on a smaller number of leading brands with major market positions in three business segments – Food and Beverage, Intimates and Underwear, and Household Products.

Sara Lee Corporation is a global branded consumer packaged goods company with approximately $17.5 billion in annual revenues. Its leading brands include Sara Lee, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Kiwi, Hanes and Playtex.