News Column

Sara Lee Details Coffee, Tea Spinoff

March 2, 2012

Emily Bryson York

Sara Lee logo

Sara Lee released additional details about the long-anticipated spinoff of its international coffee and tea business Friday, following receipt of a Private Letter Ruling from the Internal Revenue Service. The business will be headquartered in Amsterdam, and shareholders will receive a $3 dividend at the time of the split.

The Downers Grove-based company is moving its North American business, focused on retail meats, to Chicago.

"We are very pleased to reach this major milestone in our spin-off process and to provide our shareholders with additional news about the domiciling of the Coffee & Tea company and the payment of the $3dividend," Sara Lee Executive Chairman Jan Bennink said in a statement. "With over 250 years of history, the Coffee & Tea business has solid market positions and deep roots in many European markets. Domiciling Coffee & Tea in the Netherlands allows management to be close to its key Western European markets and effectively manage its global portfolio."

The coffee and tea business includes the Senseo brand and others. The spinoff is projected to distribute $4.55 billion in stock.

As part of its ruling, the company said the IRS has approved key elements of its proposed tax-free spin-off. As a result, Sara Lee expects to remove $700 million in deferred tax liabilities from its balance sheet.

Source: (c) 2012 the Chicago Tribune

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