According to Bloomberg, Sara Lee Corp. climbed the most in almost two years in U.S. trading after the New York Post said the maker of Jimmy Dean breakfast foods rejected a $12 billion unsolicited takeover offer from KKR & Co.
Sara Lee got the offer about six weeks ago, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the situation. The company is seeking a permanent successor to Chief Executive Officer Brenda Barnes, and also aims to sell its bakery business, people familiar with the matter said in July.
Completing those moves would allow Sara Lee to split its U.S. and international businesses and possibly start an auction to sell itself, the New York Post said. Whoever succeeds Barnes faces the challenge of reviving sales that have slumped for two straight years.
Ernesto Duran, a Sara Lee spokesman, said the company won’t comment “on market speculation and rumors.” Kristi Huller, a spokeswoman at New York-based KKR, also declined to comment.