P&G Nears Deal for Sara Lee Unit

P&G Nears Deal for Sara Lee Unit

P&G Nears Deal for Sara Lee Unit

Procter & Gamble. is close to a deal to buy Sara Lee.'s European air-freshener business, after fending off a challenge from S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

A deal is likely to be signed in the next few days, they said. While the price is not clear, people familiar with the matter have said in the past that the business could fetch as much as $700 million.

The sale of the Sara Lee operation, which includes the Ambi Pur brand and has roughly $500 million of global annual sales, would bring Sara Lee a step closer to its nearly yearlong goal of selling its international household and personal-care products businesses.

Sara Lee had hoped to sell the businesses as one, but has been forced to sell them in pieces instead. In September, Sara Lee reached a deal to sell the personal-care unit to Anglo-Dutch consumer-products company Unilever NV for about $1.9 billion.

The air-freshener deal would leave Sara Lee with two chunks of the international businesses left to sell: Kiwi shoe polish and an insecticide maker. Closely held S.C. Johnson, which was told last week that its bid was rejected according to the people, may still buy other parts of the Sara Lee business.

Sara Lee, which officially put the international division up for sale earlier this year, declined to comment, as did P&G. An official for S.C. Johnson, which is based in Racine, Wis., couldn't immediately be reached.


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