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SC Johnson Buys Kiwi For $328M

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 4:29am

RACINE, Wis. (AP) -- SC Johnson said it is buying Sara Lee Corp.'s shoe care business, including the venerable Kiwi brand, for $328 million, as Sara Lee continues to shed nonfood segments.

The companies announced the deal, which also includes Sara Lee's shoe accessory lines Bama International and Kiwi Kleen, on Friday. The deal is expected to close by mid-2011.

Sara Lee said the business had sales in fiscal 2009 of $315 million based on exchange rates at the time.

The food and consumer products maker has shed several of its non-food units as it looks to focus on its more-profitable businesses such Hillshire Farms meat and Senseo coffee.

On Tuesday, Sara Lee announced plans to sell a cleaning products division in Australia and New Zealand for about $50 million, and earlier in December it closed the $1.6 billion sale of its body care and European detergent segments to Unilever NV.

With the binding offer from SC Johnson, Sara Lee has lined up deals to sell virtually all of its household and body care business, said interim CEO Marcel Smits.

"We're excited to get closer to bringing this process to a close as we continue to focus on our core protein and coffee businesses," Smits said.

The company said its household and body care deals were expected to generate pretax proceeds of $2.9 billion.

Privately held Johnson makes household products under brands including Pledge, Glade, Windex and Ziploc.

Shares of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee added 4 cents to $17.55 after hours.

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