Sara lee
SPRINGDALE, Ark.- Tyson Foods Inc. announced its entrance an agreement to sell its Sara Lee Frozen Bakery, Van’s businesses, Chef Pierre and Bistro Collection to private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. Also included in the sale is the company’s Tarboro, North Carolina, and Traverse City, Michigan, prepared foods facilities, as well as a Canadian sales office. The 1,160 employees at the two prepared foods facilities are expected to keep their positions with the new company.

“These are great assets with outstanding team members; however, we’re focused on expanding Tyson Foods’ leadership position in protein,” said Sally Grimes, group president, Prepared Foods. “We believe these brands and facilities will do well as part of Kohlberg, which has extensive experience buying and growing businesses.”

C.J. Fraleigh will join Kohlberg & Co. as executive chairman at closing. A 30 plus year veteran of consumer products, Fraleigh previously served as CEO of Sara Lee – North America.

Chef Pierre
“I’m very excited to be joining the team,” Fraleigh said. “With established and iconic brands, including Sara Lee, Chef Pierre, Bistro Collection, and Van’s, this business is well-positioned to continue its historical growth trajectory.  I look forward to working with the company’s employees to execute on growth opportunities we’ve identified and continue providing customers with excellent service, innovation and consistently high-quality products.”

“Kohlberg’s partnership with C.J., along with our depth of experience with food investments, creates an excellent opportunity to drive growth and value creation for all stakeholders,” added Kohlberg partner, Seth Hollander.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Rothschild & Co. is acting as Tyson Foods’ financial advisor on the sale.