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Sara Lee Mulls Sale to JBS: Report

NEW YORK -- Sara Lee Corp.'s (SLE) shares surged Friday after a report that it is considering a sale to JBS SA, the world's largest beef company.

The Wall Street Journal reported that people familiar with the matter said JBS approached Sara Lee with an offer, and the talks have been off and on for several months.

Sara Lee, whose brands include Jimmy Dean sausage and has been considering JBS's offer more seriously in recent weeks, the Journal reported, though no decision has been made.

JBS has a market capitalization nearly equal to Sara Lee, which could make it challenging to assemble a full takeover offer.

Sara Lee is in flux. The company's CEO Brenda Barnes stepped down in August while recovering from a stroke.

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A representative from Sara Lee said the company had no comment. JBS could not be reached.

Sara Lee has also been selling off business lines and may consider breaking up its businesses further. The Wall Street Journal report says that the company is also considering breaking up its core meats and beverages businesses and put them up for sale.

JBS, the world's largest beef exporter, and Sara Lee could not be reached for comment.

Shares of Sara Lee rose 87 cents, more than 5%, to close Friday at $17.26. Shares fell 12 cents in after-hours trading.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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