NEW YORK — During pre-market trading on Jan. 10, Sara Lee Corp.'s stock rose about 4% on speculation it is a takeover target, according to The Associated Press. Most recently, Sara Lee has been rumored to be an acquisition target as it sells its tertiary businesses and has yet to name a permanent replacement for former CEO Brenda Barnes, who left the company last summer to recover from a stroke.

On Jan. 10, a Wall Street Journal story stated a group of investors including private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC and investor C. Dean Metropoulos are considering a potential acquisition. Metropoulos is a businessman who bought Pabst Brewing Co. in 2010. The WSJ story claims the investor group, which also includes Bain Capital LLC and TPG Capital LP, has met with Sara Lee advisers recently to talk about a possible deal.

Last week a WSF story said Sara Lee did not accept a takeover bid in December from Brazilian meat processor JBS SA.