UTRECHT, The Netherlands, November 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Move strengthens partners' out-of-home business in Norway and Denmark
Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) and its Norwegian joint venture partner Kaffehuset Friele announced they have entered into an agreement with ISS A/S to acquire the House of Coffee business, a leading foodservice provider of beverage solutions to offices and institutions in Norway and Denmark.
The deal is expected to close before the end of calendar 2011 and is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approval.
"As we prepare for the launch of our successful pure-play coffee company, we continue to strengthen our positions in important markets that will be key to both our success and the success of our partners," said Jan Bennink, executive chairman, Sara Lee Corporation.
Sara Lee owns approximately 45-percent of Kaffehuset Friele, the leading coffee company in Norway. Through this joint venture, Sara Lee successfully commercializes products such as Senseo coffee pods and Cafitesse liquid coffee in the Norwegian market. In Denmark, Sara Lee owns Merrild, the country's number-one coffee brand. The acquisition of House of Coffee will help Kaffehuset Friele and Sara Lee strengthen their positions across various out-of-home channels in both countries.
"Through the acquisition of House of Coffee we get a better foothold in the office coffee market which is a steadily growing segment. The strategic partnership between Kaffehuset Friele and Sara Lee continues to provide a strong platform for growth," said Olav Munch, CEO of Kaffehuset Friele.
In connection with the sale, the parties have entered into a strategic partnership agreement to continue providing coffee vending services to the current House of Coffee customers in the Norwegian and Danish markets.
About Sara Lee Corporation
Collectively, Sara Lee's (NYSE: SLE) continuing operations generated nearly $9 billion in annual net sales from its leading portfolio of food and beverage brands, including Ball Park, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Pickwick Teas, Sara Lee and Senseo, and employs 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 Kaffehuset Friele
Kaffehuset Friele is Norway's oldest coffee house, established in 1799. The company is owned 55% by the Friele family and 45% by Sara Lee Corp. In calendar 2010 it had a turnover of NOK 680 million and 120 employees. Kaffehuset Friele is active in roast and ground sustainable coffee as well as in the distribution of coffee systems, hot chocolate and concentrated juice through both retail and foodservice channels in Norway.
SOURCE Sara Lee