UTRECHT, The Netherlands, January 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Acquisition of International Brand Strengthens Sara Lee Expertise, Presence in Growing Ultra-Premium Tea Segment
Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) today announced it has acquired Tea Forté, a Massachusetts-based leader in the ultra-premium tea category, for an undisclosed sum. With this acquisition Sara Lee strengthens its expertise and presence in the fast-growing segment of luxury teas.
Tea Forté posted revenues of $12 million in 2011. Founded in 2003 by former Museum of Modern Art designer Peter Hewitt, the company is now present at leading hotels, restaurants and luxury retailers in 35 countries. Tea Forté's award-winning teas are available in loose format and in the company's signature pyramid infuser.
"Acquiring Tea Forté fits perfectly into our strategy to spin off 'CoffeeTeaCo' as a pure-play coffee and tea company poised for strong growth," said Jan Bennink, executive chairman of the board, Sara Lee Corp.
CoffeeTeaCo will retain the current management team of Tea Forté to run the business independently before integrating it into its international coffee and tea operations.
"Tea Forté's expertise in ultra-premium teas complements our existing business with leading brands across Europe and boosts our innovation capabilities in the tea category," added Michiel Herkemij, chief executive officer, Sara Lee International Beverage.
Earlier this year, Sara Lee Corp announced its plans to divide the company into two publicly traded, pure-play entities: one focused on meats in North America and the other focused on the international coffee and tea market. The split is on track to occur during the first half of calendar year 2012.
About Sara Lee Corporation
Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) and its leading portfolio of food and beverage brands, including Ball Park, DouweEgberts, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Pickwick Teas, Sara Lee and Senseo, generate nearly $9 billion in annual net sales from continuing operations and employ approximately 20,000 people worldwide. In January, 2011, Sara Lee Corp. announced that it will divide the company into two pure-play publicly-traded companies, one focused on the international coffee and tea market and the other on North American meats. For more information on the company, please visit http://www.saralee.com.
About Tea Forté
Tea Forté is the global luxury tea brand identified around the world as the ultimate tea experience. Known for its ultra premium hand-crafted teas, design-driven accessories, exquisite packaging and opulent approach, Tea Forté re-imagines and re-defines the contemporary tea experience by delivering a delighting and luxuriant encounter. Founded in 2003, by acclaimed American designer Peter Hewitt, the company is present in 35 countries worldwide. To learn more please visit http://www.teaforte.com
SOURCE Sara Lee