Sara Lee Selling Stake In India Unit For $233.6M

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (AP) -- Sara Lee Corp. will sell its majority stake in a joint venture in India that makes insecticides as it continues to sell off the part of its portfolio that sells household and body care products overseas.

The company said it will sell its 51 percent stake in Godrej Sara Lee Ltd. to Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. for about $233.6 million (185 million euros).

The company has been focusing on its core food and beverage business and selling off parts of its international businesses that don't sell either of those products. Sara Lee, based in Downers Grove, Ill., has sold its personal-care business to Unilever NV and is selling its Ambi Pure air freshener business to Procter & Gamble Co.

Sara Lee said in a news release Wednesday the Godrej joint venture, which has brands such as Good Knight, HIT and JET, accounted for about 9 percent of adjusted operating segment income for the international household and body care business in fiscal 2009.

CEO Brenda Barnes said the partnership had lasted for 15 years.

"This sale is the next step in our strategy to focus on our core food and beverage business," she said in a news release.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the company's fiscal year in July.

Sara Lee said it continues to see "strong interest" in the rest of the business. Remaining units include shoe care, insecticides outside of India and some non-European cleaning brands.

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