NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sara Lee Corp sharesjumped Monday after The New York Post reported that thefoodmaker received an unsolicited offer from private equityfirm KKR Co and aroused the interest of Anglo-Dutchconglomerate Unilever.
KKR approached the maker of Sara Lee bread and Jimmy Deansausages about six weeks ago in what could have been a $12billion deal, the newspaper reported, citing a person familiarwith the matter. Sara Lee rebuffed the offer, the report said.
The newspaper said a second source had confirmed KKR hadrecently approached Sara Lee.
Shares were up nearly 11 percent at $14.87. Based on theirclosing price on Friday, Sara Lee had a market value of about$8.59 billion.
The Post article, citing sources, also said Unilever wouldbe interested in making a bid if it is not required to take thebakery division.
Sara Lee is quietly seeking buyers for its bread unit,sources told Reuters in July.
Chief Financial Officer Marcel Smits has been interim CEOsince Brenda Barnes stepped down permanently in Augustfollowing a stroke earlier this year.
Sara Lee, KKR and Unilever spokespeople did not immediatelyrespond to a request for comment about the report. (Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Derek Caney, DaveZimmerman)