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Sara Lee Buys Tea Forte

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 6:50am

NEW YORK (AP) — Food maker Sara Lee Corp. has purchased Tea Forte in order to enhance its foothold in the fast-growing tea business.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sara Lee is splitting into two separate companies during the first half of this year, with one company focused on international coffees and teas and the other on meats. The company's brands include Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Senseo and Pickwick Teas.

Executive Chairman Jan Bennink said in a statement Tuesday that Tea Forte will fit well with the company that concentrates on coffees and teas.

Tea Forte, which had 2011 revenue of $12 million, offers loose teas and teas in its signature pyramid infuser. Its teas can be found at hotels, restaurants and retailers in 35 countries. The company is based in Concord, Mass.

Last month Sara Lee said it plans to move its headquarters to downtown Chicago from Downers Grove, Ill., in 2013 after it completes its split into two units.

The company's stock added 8 cents to $19 in morning trading.

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