Consumer goods giant Sara Lee Corporation has announced today that it has reached agreement on the principal terms and conditions for the sale of its European nuts and snacks business in the Netherlands, Belgium and France to PepsiCo for €130m (US$154m).

Signing of a final agreement is still subject to the satisfactory outcome of the applicable works council proceedings. Furthermore, the prior approval of the
Dutch Competitions Authority is required before the transaction can be implemented.

As part of Sara Lee’s transformation plan announced in February, the company identified European nuts and snacks as a non-core business that would be sold. The European nuts and snacks business, which generated approximately €88m in annual sales in fiscal 2005, markets products under the Duyvis brand in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as the Benenuts brand in France.

“A critical element of our transformation strategy is to divest a number of businesses, including the European nuts and snacks enterprise, that are not in our core categories, so that Sara Lee is a more focused, more disciplined, high-performing company for our shareholders,” said Brenda C. Barnes, chairman and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Corporation. “We look forward to productive and collaborative discussions with the appropriate works councils as we move forward with this transaction.”