Sara Lee sells Air Care business to Procter and Gamble, focusses on food

Posted by James Ferre on 21st December 2009

Sara Lee has announced a further step toward their plan to focus on food and beverage products with the sale of the air care business to consumer products giant Procter & Gamble.

The binding offer of €320 million (A$524 million) was accepted earlier this month by Sara Lee as long as certain, unspecified conditions are met.

In fiscal 2009, this business generated annual sales of approximately €260 million.

“The proposed sale of our air care business is the next step in our plan to focus on our core food and beverage businesses, where we have a strong competitive position and can generate superior shareholder returns,” said Brenda Barnes, Chair and CEO of Sara Lee Corp. “Receiving this offer from leading consumer goods company P&G validates the tremendous trends and potential of the Ambi Pur brand, an innovative air care leader.”

Sara Lee is executing a divestiture plan for its International Household and Body Care business and said they continue to receive strong interest in the remainder of its household business, which includes shoe care, insecticides and certain non-European cleaning brands.

In total, this transaction and the previously announced binding offer from Unilever for Sara Lee’s global body care and European detergents businesses are expected to generate sales proceeds of approximately €1.6 billion (A$2.6 billion, based on recent exchange rates) and represent approximately 66 per cent of the adjusted operating segment income of the International Household and Body Care business.

“This acquisition brings to P&G the strong Ambi Pur brand equity and complementary geographic presence, particularly in Europe and Asia,” said David Taylor, P&G Group President for Global Home Care.