Sara Lee exits tobacco business

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Sara Lee Corp., Chicago, said it is selling its Netherlands-based tobacco marketer, Douwe Egberts Van Nelle Tobacco, to Imperial Tobacco Co. for up to $1.08 billion. Douwe Egberts, based in Rotterdam, markets the Drum, Van Nelle, Brandaris, Winner and Amphora brands in 100 countries. Sara Lee said it decided to leave tobacco to focus on its core coffee, grocery, household and body care divisions. Amphora, a pipe tobacco, and Drum, a loose tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes, were the only tobacco products marketed by Sara Lee in the U.S. Dutch agency FHV/ BBDO, Amstelveen, handles the Douwe Egberts brands. Spending could not be determined.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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