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Sara Lee sets the date for coffee and tea spin-off

By Elaine Watson , 02-Mar-2012

Bennink: Wave of innovations
Bennink: Wave of innovations

The spin-off of Sara Lee’s international coffee and tea business is expected to be completed by the end of June 2012, the firm has revealed.

At this point, the business - which had 2011 sales of around 2.6bn euros ($3.4bn) - will become a publicly traded company incorporated in the Netherlands. The HQ will move from Utrecht to Amsterdam in the second half of calendar year 2012.

 

The move is part of a restructuring plan to split Sara Lee into a North American meat company 'MeatCo', with brands including Hillshire Farm deli meat and Jimmy Dean sausages, and an international coffee and tea company, with brands as Douwe Egberts and Pickwick.

 

Each Sara Lee share will be split into two, one for the meat and one for the coffee business.

 

A wave of innovations

 

Executive chairman Jan Bennink has promised to deliver “major innovations” in coffee this year.

 

On an earnings call last year, he said: “On coffee we will make significant changes in the next 12 to 24 months. In 24 months… none of our packaging, none of our products will probably look the same as they currently look.

 

 

“You can expect the first relaunches in March, April of this year… then the big second wave of innovations will happen in the summer and then major innovations…can be expected in the first half calendar 2013 and hopefully even something already in the last half of calendar 2012.”

 

 

Adjusted net sales in the coffee and tea business grew 12% in the second quarter, while pricing had “fully covered raw material increases for the first time since the beginning of the spike in raw material prices”, said Bennink.

 

The name of the new coffee and tea business will be unveiled on March 14.

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