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Sara Lee splits into two companies

Published:Wednesday | June 6, 2012 | 12:00 AM
This undated photo provided by the Sara Lee Corp shows Hillshire Farm Deli Select Oven Roasted Ham. Sara Lee Corp, which is splitting into two businesses in June, said Tuesday that it would call its North American company Hillshire Brands Co.-ap

Food company Sara Lee Corp, which is splitting into two businesses, is naming its North America company Hillshire Brands Company.

The business will house brands like Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean and Ball Park as well as frozen desserts and other bakery products, Sara Lee said Tuesday.

The name comes from the Hillshire Farm brand, which Sara Lee purchased in 1971.

The other company to emerge from Sara Lee will be an international coffee and tea company called D.E. Master Blenders 1753, referring to one of its coffee brands, Douwe Egberts, which began in 1753.

The two will become separate publicly traded companies on June 28, after Sara Lee, based in Downers Grove, Illinois, completes its split. Hillshire Brands will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'HSH'.

Sean Connolly, who currently serves as CEO of Sara Lee's North American retail and foodservice operations, will become CEO of Hillshire Brands.

The tea and coffee business will be based in The Netherlands.

Sara Lee shareholders will get stock worth up to US$4.55 billion when it spins off the coffee and tea business.

Sara Lee shares dipped 14 cents to US$20.30 in morning trading.

- AP