Sara Lee contemplates acquisitions as food focus intensifies

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 22nd June 2009

Food and household goods manufacturer Sara Lee is mulling the potential of food and beverage acquisitions as the company fields offers for its households business.

Chairman and CEO, Brenda Barnes, told Bloomberg last week that, with an extensive cost cutting process underway and the potential of a sale of their $3b International Household & Body Care business, they were in a position to expand their food and beverage business.

“We now have the capability to do this,” she said of the company still undergoing a major transformation which has led to divestitures and spin-offs worth US$3.8 billion. “Early on, we didn’t earn the right to buy.”

The company will also consider expanding by geographic region.

Ms Barnes added that the building of a new innovation centre was also a key part of their transformation into a more effective consumer goods business.

“What we’ve changed most, very simply, is we’ve said we’re a consumer-goods company and we have to focus on the consumer,” she advised. “So innovation is our key driver of growth.”