Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) today announced that the European Commission has approved the sale of Sara Lee’s global Body Care and European detergents businesses to Unilever.

As part of the ruling, Unilever is required to divest the Sanex brand in the European market after it acquires the business from Sara Lee. In light of this requirement, the parties will make certain amendments to the Share Purchase Agreement including an adjustment in the purchase price from Euro 1.275 billion to Euro 1.210 billion. The deal is anticipated to close in December 2010.

“We’re very pleased that this transaction has been approved and is nearing a close,” said Marcel Smits, interim chief executive officer, Sara Lee Corp. “The change in proceeds will have no effect on our capital plans, as we continue with our plans to repurchase $2.5 to $3.0 billion of shares by the end of fiscal 2012.”

The transaction was originally announced on Sept. 25, 2009. The global Body Care and European detergents businesses encompass a wide variety of popular brands, including Sanex, Radox and Duschdas.

This transaction is a part of Sara Lee’s ongoing process of divesting its International Household and Body Care business. To date, the company has announced and closed transactions for its air care business (sold to Procter & Gamble for EUR320 million) and its stake in the Indian insecticides joint venture Godrej Sara Lee (sold to Godrej for EUR185 million). In addition, Sara Lee announced the pending sale of its non-Indian insecticides business to SC Johnson for EUR153.5 million. That deal is anticipated to close by the end of calendar 2010.

Sara Lee has also received significant interest in the remainder of its household business and is continuing to pursue divestiture options for this business, which includes shoe care and Asian cleaning brands.

About Sara Lee

Each and every day, Sara Lee (NYSE: SLE) delights millions of consumers and customers around the world. The company has one of the world’s best-loved and leading portfolios with its innovative and trusted food and beverage brands, including Ball Park, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Sara Lee and Senseo. Collectively, our brands generate nearly $11 billion in annual net sales. Sara Lee has approximately 33,000 employees in its continuing operations worldwide. Please visit for the latest news and in-depth information about Sara Lee and its brands.

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