Chicago-based food to household products conglomerate Sara Lee Corp revealed on Friday that it is to slash 380 jobs with the closure of four US bakeries in Chicago, Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee, and one in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Production at the plants will cease within two months, the company said as it seeks to take advantage of the operational synergies following its US$2.8bn acquisition of St. Louis-based bakery Earthgrains Co last August.


The Holsum bread plant in Chicago will shift production to other company bakeries in the region, as will the bread and bun bakery in Memphis. The Chattanooga bakery that produces the Colonial and Kern’s bread brands will transfer its production to Atlanta. The bagel production at Albuquerque will move to Sara Lee’s South Sioux City, Nebraska bakery.


Prudential Securities analyst John McMillin told Reuters that the plant closings could be expected: “That’s not unusual after a merger. They spent a lot of money to buy Earthgrains and they want a financial return.”