Jan Bennink has been appointed executive chairman of the board; Marcel Smits was named CEO, Mark Garvey was named CFO, and CJ Fraleigh was named CEO of the new North American retail and Foodservice company.
In conjunction with the planned separation, the board of directors intends to declare a $3.00 per share special dividend on the company's common stock, the majority of which will be funded with proceeds from the sale of the company's North American Fresh Bakery business. The special dividend is expected to be declared and paid in fiscal 2012 and before completion of the spin-off of Sara Lee's North American Retail and North American Foodservice businesses.
"Today's announcement is a logical step following the divestment of our International Household and Body Care business and the announced sale of our North American Fresh Bakery business," said James Crown, who has served as chairman of the board since May 2010, and will continue on the board and will serve as lead independent.
"We have carefully considered various strategic alternatives, including unsolicited indications of interest in the company. We believe that the spin-off, plus the one-time special dividend, offers the greatest potential for delivering long-term shareholder value. These two pure-play companies will have their own distinct growth strategies within their respective core markets that will attract a more focused shareholder base."