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Sara Lee sells its dough business

Downers Grove-based Sara Lee Corporation is selling off part of its business as it prepares to split into two separate companies.

The company has signed an agreement to sell its refrigerated dough business for $545 million. That includes products like specialty biscuits, pie crusts and toaster pastries.

Ralcorp Holdings will be acquiring the business. The St. Louis, Missouri company produces a variety of products including Post branded cereals.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.

Sara Lee has been preparing to split into two publicly traded companies. Officials say the sell-off will help Sara Lee focus on making those companies stronger.

One company will retain the Sara Lee name and concentrate on North American retail including brands like Ball Park and Hillshire Farm. The other will take up European coffee, tea and baked goods.

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