Sara Lee Bakery Sale Will Speed Stock Buyback: CEO
“Bread for sale” by Sara Lee, specifically the selloff of its fresh-bakery division, will allow the company to speed up its stock buyback program, Marcel Smits, interim CEO and executive vice president told CNBC Tuesday.
Sara Lee posted quarterly earnings Tuesday.
"In February of this year, we promised the market we would be buying back stock through a value of 2.5 to 3 billion," said Smits. “We are well on our way.”
Sara Lee is hoping to have closed the fresh-bakery sale to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo next year. The division includes 41 US plants and 4,700 delivery routes.
Smits said the company is also interested in acquisitions, but declined to specify what exactly it planned.
He said Sara Lee will also focus on its two areas of strength—international sales of coffee and tea and sales of meat in the US. The company will continue to produce and sale its frozen cakes and pies in the trademark red boxes.
Smits said the firm would be passing along the rising costs of commodity prices on to consumers. Nonetheless, he said, “We see consumer trends gradually improving.”