October 10, 2011 / 1:00 PM / 6 years ago

Sara Lee sells Iberian bakery unit to Grupo Bimbo

(Reuters) - Sara Lee Corp SLE.N is selling its fresh bakery business in Spain and Portugal to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo (BIMBOA.MX) for 115 million euros ($156 million) in cash, the food company's latest step to unload its international bakery units.

The deal includes all of its fresh bakery brands in Spain and Portugal along with seven manufacturing plants. The sale is expected to close within 60 days.

Sara Lee is in the process of splitting into two companies, one focused on North American meat brands and one focused on international coffee and tea brands.

In a statement, Grupo Bimbo said it expected the Sara Lee business to lend weight to its international growth strategy.

"The ... business is expected to generate sales of over 290 million euros and adjusted EBITDA of 17 million euros, after giving effect to full run-rate savings associated with restructuring initiatives already undertaken by the seller," it said.

Grupo Bimbo said it would use cash on hand and financing available under existing credit facilities to fund the deal.

Sara Lee is still trying to find a buyer for the bakery businesses that serve the French, Swedish, Italian, Australian and New Zealand markets.

Sara Lee said last week that it is still finalizing discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice about the sale of its North American fresh bakery business to Grupo Bimbo.

(1 euro = $1.36)

Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Derek Caney and John Wallace

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