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Grupo Bimbo Eyes Sara Lee Bread Business


Grupo Bimbo is the lead bidder to buy Sara Lee Corp's North American bread business for about $1 billion, though a deal could be several weeks away, Bloomberg news reported on Tuesday.

Sara Lee, which declined to comment, had said last month it planned to spend more on its North American bakery business and raise some prices as it looks to improve performance in that lagging business.

That announcement to invest in the business had come after some suitors walked away from the bakery auction, sources familiar with the situation previously told Reuters.

Bloomberg reported that some private-equity funds are still looking at the bread business, though Bimbo has emerged as the likeliest buyer.

Bimbo declined to comment.

Mexico City-based Bimbo bought the U.S. bread-making unit of Canada's George Weston Ltd for $2.38 billion in December 2008, increasing its presence in the eastern United States.

Sara Lee initially hoped to get $1.5 billion for the bread business, but the unit may ultimately only fetch $1 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier this month, private equity firm Apollo Global Management approached Sara Lee about a potential buyout, Reuters previously reported.

source : Reuter

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