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Sara Lee Renames Its Coffee And Tea Business

Sara Lee Corp. is naming its international coffee and tea business β€” which it plans to spin off later this year β€” as D.E. Master Blenders 1753.

NEW YORK (AP) β€” Sara Lee Corp. is naming its international coffee and tea business β€” which it plans to spin off later this year β€” as D.E. Master Blenders 1753.

The name partly references the history of one of its coffee brands, Douwe Egberts, which began in 1753.

The division's Executive Vice President and CEO, Michiel Herkemij, said in a statement that the new name "expresses what we have become as an organization, as well as what we aspire to be β€” the best blenders in the world."

Sara Lee said it spent six months considering names for the business, whose other brands include Senseo, Marcilla, Pilao, L'OR EspressO, Moccona, Pickwick and Hornimans.

Sara Lee previously announced its plans to split into two publicly-traded businesses: the international coffee and tea company and a meats company. The spinoff of the coffee and tea business is expected to be completed by the end of June.

Sara Lee, which is based in Downers Grove, Ill., will focus on the meat business with brands such as Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausage.

Earlier this month Sara Lee said that its shareholders will get stock valued at up to $4.55 billion when it spins off the international coffee and tea business. The business will also move its headquarters from Utrecht to Amsterdam in the second half of the year in part to be close to key Western European markets.

The food company also announced on Wednesday the appointment of Harm-Jan van Pelt as chief operating officer of the portion of its international coffee and tea business that covers Eastern Europe, Australia, Asia and Latin America.

Sara Lee said that van Pelt, 49, will remain in that role once the international coffee and tea business is spun off later this year. Van Pelt has worked in various roles at Sara Lee, starting with the company in 1998.

In addition, Eugenio Minvielle will serve as COO of its international coffee and tea developed markets unit, which will mostly concentrate on Western Europe.

Minvielle, 47, was most recently Unilever's CEO North America, a position in which he oversaw the company's U.S., Canadian and Caribbean operations. He previously served as president and CEO of Nestle France, Mexico and Venezuela.

Both van Pelt and Minvielle will report to Herkemij.

Shares of Sara Lee fell 12 cents to $21.41 in morning trading. Its shares have traded in 52-week range of $15.66 to $22.04.

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