Sara Lee Corporation announced today that it has agreed to acquire the assets of FHS, Inc., a private holding company that owns Trail’s Best Snacks, Inc., the fourth largest producer of meat snacks and beef jerky in the United States. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Trail’s Best Snacks, which includes Trail’s Best and Happy Trails brands, also currently produces the Jimmy Dean brand of meat snacks for Sara Lee Foods.

“Meat snacks sales have been increasing at a double-digit rate for the last eight years, and the acquisition of Trail’s Best Snacks supports Sara Lee’s strategy to develop leading positions in growth segments of our core categories,” said C. Steven McMillan, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Corporation. “Sara Lee entered the meat snacks category earlier this year with the introduction of Jimmy Dean meat snacks in select markets, and our research clearly indicates that marrying the Jimmy Dean brand with great-tasting, high quality meat snacks is an excellent match. With the acquisition of Trail’s Best Snacks, Sara Lee gains additional brands in this booming category, and adds a strong growth platform for extending the Jimmy Dean brand.”

With this transaction, Sara Lee also acquires Huisken Meats, Inc., a producer of frozen meat products.

FHS, Inc., headquartered in Chandler, Minn., generated more than $50 million in sales in 2000.

Sara Lee Corporation is a global branded consumer packaged goods company with approximately $20 billion in annual revenues. Its leading brands include Sara Lee, Douwe Egberts, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Kiwi, Hanes and Playtex.