Sara Lee (SLE) said today it has agreed to acquire CoffeeCompany, a Dutch cafÈ store operator majority owned by KRC Capital.
Sara Lee said it will boost its branding platform with the acquisition, and will strengthen its presence in the growing segment of young, out-of-home coffee consumers.
The deal is part of Sara Lee's strategy to become a pure-play coffee and tea company poised for strong growth.
CoffeeCompany includes a network of 60 premium cafes with more than 7 million yearly consumer visits.
Sara Lee said it expects the transaction to close in 30 days.
Earlier in the year, Sara Lee unveiled plans to divide the company into two publicly trades, pure-play entities: one focused on meats in North America and the other focused on the international coffee and teas market. The split is on track to occur in the first half of 2012.
Prior to announcing the split, Sara Lee had explored a variety of divestitures and merger prospects.
Ralcorp (RAH) said over the summer it would acquire Sara Lee's refrigerated dough business.
Sara Lee is one among many companies seeking to unlock value with spin-offs, including fellow food producer Kraft (KFT). Ralcorp itself said over the summer it would spin-off its Post cereals business, and has recently fended off a takeover proposal from ConAgra (NYSE:CAG).
Sara Lee's acquisition today seems as though it would bring the company into new competition with the likes of Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).
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