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Sara Lee to Pursue a Split-Up Instead of a Sale

Sara Lee’s board has rejected takeover approaches from two potential buyers and will likely pursue a break-up of the company into separate meat and coffee businesses, people briefed on the matter told DealBook on Thursday.

Sara Lee
AP
Sara Lee

The decision was made during the second of two days of meetings for the board, after directors determined that preliminary takeover approaches by a consortium led by Apollo Global Management and by JBS of Brazil were not high enough, these people said.

These people cautioned that the situation remained fluid, adding that Sara Lee might still entertain takeover offers even after it began the process of splitting itself up.

A formal announcement may come in the next few days, one of these people said.

A Sara Lee spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Shares in Sara Lee were down more than 4.7 percent, at $17.74, in midmorning trading on Thursday.

News of the board’s decision was reported earlier on Thursday by TheDeal.com.