April 17, 2009 / 4:24 PM / 11 years ago

Sara Lee still evaluating possible unit sale

DOWNERS GROVE, Illinois (Reuters) - Sara Lee Corp SLE.N is still evaluating whether or not to sell its European household and personal care business, CEO Brenda Barnes said on Friday.

“We’re in the middle of the process, nothing imminent to say,” Barnes told reporters at event to showcase Sara Lee’s new food research and development center.

In March, Sara Lee said it was considering the sale of its international household and personal care business after receiving some expressions of interest from potential suitors.

“I think a lot of companies are looking to enhance their core categories and we have a company that could do that,” Barnes said on Friday, referring specifically to the European household and personal care business.

The business, which includes a mix of brands like Sanex body wash and Ambi Pur air fresheners, has about $2.3 billion in annual sales, or about 17 percent of the company’s total. Analysts have said Sara Lee may have to break up the business to sell it because it has such a wide range of products, which also include Kiwi shoe polish and Vapona insecticides.

Reporting by Brad Dorfman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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