Food giant Sara Lee (SLE
) saw its shares surge over 18% in premarket trading Monday after the New York Post
reported the company turned down a $12 billion buyout offer from private-equity company KKR & Co. (KKR
), citing unnamed sources.
Sara Lee is conducting a search to hire a permanent successor to its highly regarded CEO, Brenda Barnes, the report added. It is also looking to sell its north American bakery business
for an estimated $1 billion. It may then be in a stronger position to split its American and international businesses, or put itself up for sale.
However, according to the Post
, some analysts believe that turning down the August offer, which coincided with Barnes's departure due to health concerns
, might be a missed opportunity, and that restructuring would be harder. Sara Lee's revenues suffered during the recession as it had to lower prices and compete with private labels.