Sara Lee could become the top seller of fresh bread in the nation

ST. LOUIS Sara Lee Corp. could soon acquire Interstate Bakeries, the maker of Hostess cupcakes, Twinkies and Wonder Bread, Brenda Barnes, Sara Lee’s chief executive officer, said last month. The acquisition could be a major boost for Sara Lee’s lagging spot in the fresh bread market.

Sara Lee has also considered acquiring Folger’s Coffee and Oscar Mayer meats. However, Barnes said that Interstate would be the best fit for Sara Lee’s product line.

“Sara Lee needs to fill in its hole in the Northeast to be a credible national player,” Alexia Howard, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein Research in New York, said in an interview.

Barnes said in order for Sara Lee to consider any acquisition, the company would have to fit into its United States bread and meat businesses, U.S. body care lines, or overseas coffee and household products lines.

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