Sara Lee rebuffs potential $12bn KKR buyout offer

SARA LEE shares surged seven per cent yesterday after The New York Post reported the foodmaker received an unsolicited offer from private equity firm KKR Co and could arouse the interest of Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever NV.

KKR approached the maker of Sara Lee bread and Jimmy Dean sausages about six weeks ago in what could have been a $12bn deal, the newspaper reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Sara Lee’s board rebuffed the offer, the report said.

Sara Lee also held takeover talks with private equity firm Apollo Global Management in recent months, but failed to reach a deal, according to another report by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg also said Sara Lee undertook a strategic review in August and chose not to explore a sale of the company.

Sara Lee shares closed up 97 cents, or 7.2 per cent, at $14.40.