Sara Lee to buy Dutch cafe store operator

by Staff
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UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS — Sara Lee Corp. has agreed to acquire CoffeeCompany, a Dutch cafe store operator where KRC Capital is a major shareholder.

“This acquisition is part of our strategy to create a pure-play coffee and tea company poised for strong growth,” said Jan Bennink, executive chairman of Sara Lee. “Acquiring CoffeeCompany, one of the most exciting, dynamic coffee names among young urban consumers, will make Sara Lee the No. 1 cafe operator in The Netherlands. It will also allow the business to expand its platform for inspiration, branding and consumer connection.”

Sara Lee said the acquisition should boost its branding platform and strengthen its presence in the growing segment of young out-of-home coffee consumers. Sara Lee plans to retain the current management team of CoffeeCompany, who will run the network of 60 premium cafes with more than 7 million yearly consumer visits.

The transaction is expected to close in the next 30 days. Sara Lee announced plans earlier in 2011 to split the company into two publicly traded pure-play companies, one being a North American meats business and the other focused on international coffee and tea.

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