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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 1, January 2012, Posted On: 1/4/2012

Sara Lee Buys Ultra-Premium Tea Company Ahead Of Split

Emily Jed
Sara Lee, Tea Forte, Sara Lee CoffeeTeaCo, office coffee service, luxury tea

DOWNERS GROVE, IL -- Sara Lee Corp. has purchased Tea Forte, strengthening its presence in the fast-growing luxury tea category. Terms were not disclosed.

Sara Lee is splitting its business during the first half of this year into an international coffee and tea unit and a North American company that includes the Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farms brands.

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

Sara Lee's international beverage spinoff, CoffeeTeaCo, will retain Tea Forte's current management team to run the business independently before integrating it into its international coffee and tea operations.

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