McCain Foods has sold its trans-Tasman Sara Lee business to New Zealand investment company South Island Office.
Sara Lee’s operations will be integrated with 30-year-old New Zealand firm Original Foods Baking Co which, like Sara Lee, specialises in baked goods and desserts.
“The combined product ranges and distribution channels are highly complementary,” the company said in a statement announcing the deal.
Mark Mackaness, who McCain appointed as GM of Sara Lee in 2019, will continue to lead the Sara Lee team, who will transition to the new owners. Mackaness has bought equity in the new company and will become group CEO.
For the past two years , McCain foods has been working to establish Sara Lee as a separate standalone operation.
Since 2013, McCain has invested more than $40 million in Sara Lee’s product innovation and infrastructure to create a successful, well-run business that is prepared for growth and future, so we will look to continue to innovate and maintain our growth journey from day one.
Mackaness made a commitment to the 220 staff of the Lisarow factory, that all will remain with the business. The factory was built in 1971 beside orchards, where it used to source oranges for the famous Sara Lee Orange cake. Today, Sara Lee still sources 90 per cent of its ingredients locally.