DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. – Sara Lee Corp. has initiated an accelerated share repurchase program under which it will repurchase $500 million of common stock.

The repurchase is part of its recently announced capital plan under which the company intends to buy back $2.5 to $3.0 billion of stock over a three-year period, with $1.0 to $1.3 billion to be repurchased in calendar year 2010.

As a result of the repurchase, the company’s shares outstanding will be reduced from 697 million to approximately 661 million.