CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND — New Zealand-based investor group South Island Office (SIO) has reached an agreement to acquire the Sara Lee desserts and baked foods business in Australia from McCain Foods (Aust) Pty. Ltd. Financial terms of the transaction, which is part of a partial management buyout with Sara Lee’s existing managing director, were not disclosed.

Once completed, the transaction will combine Sara Lee with Christchurch-based baking company Original Foods Baking Co., which SIO acquired in February.

McCain acquired the Sara Lee business from Hillshire Brands Co. in 2013 for approximately $85 million. At the time, the move was described as a way for McCain to expand its range of products across desserts, meals and snacking occasions. As part of its strategy to grow the Sara Lee business, McCain named Mark Mackaness as a dedicated general manager in 2019 to build standalone business capability, operating independently from…

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