Sara Lee jumps on report of rejected bid

The food company declined a buyout offer from KKR, the New York Post says, causing its shares to rise as much as 13%.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 4, 2010 12:50PM

TheStreetBy Andrea Tse, TheStreet

 

Sara Lee's (SLE) stock surged after the food company reportedly rejected a buyout bid by private-equity firm KKR (KKR).

 

Shares were rising 7.7% to $14.47 at midday after climbing as much as 13% earlier today. The stock has returned 13% this year, outperforming the S&P 500 Consumer Staples Index.

 

Sara Lee's board rejected KKR's offer about six weeks ago, the New York Post reported, citing unidentified sources. The newspaper said the proposal could have amounted to a $12 billion deal.

 

Sara Lee is looking for a new chief executive to replace Brenda Barnes, who's stepping down to focus on her health. She has been on medical leave since May 14 after suffering a stroke.

The Post said the company is trying to sell its bakery business for about $1 billion and that if it's successful, it would be in a stronger position to consider spinning off units or selling itself.

 

Food giant Unilever (UL) would probably be interested in buying the company if it doesn't have to take on the bakery unit, according to a Post source.

 

The Post said KKR wasn't allowed to look over confidential information.

 

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