Sara Lee Eyeing Purchase of Brazilian Coffee Maker - Report

Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE) is reportedly in talks to buy or merge with Brazilian coffee, juice and tea producer Marata, according to several media reports citing local financial newspaper Valor Economico.

A possible acquisition could amount to one billion Brazilian reals, or $617 million, according to the report, which cited unnamed sources close to the matter.

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee, which manufacturers packaged meats under the brands Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean as well as several coffee and tea products, already owns some 22% of Brazil’s retail coffee market. The deal would strengthen its presence in Brazil’s northeast corridor.

Marata, which is part of a group of local family-owned businesses called Grupo Jose Augusto Vieira, operates seven units in Brazil’s northeastern state of Sergipe.