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Sara Lee announces it will close kosher meat processing plant in Chicago

BY Jenna Duncan

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. Sara Lee has announced that it will close a Chicago-area plant that makes kosher hot dogs and other packaged meats by Jan. 30, 2009. The company said that it plans to sell off the property and decommission the plant’s equipment.

The closure will affect about 185 employees. News that a possible closure would occur at one of Sara Lee’s North American plants was released earlier this year.

“This decision was made after careful consideration of our strategic, long-term plan, which focuses on categories where we have a strategic competitive advantage,” said C.J. Fraleigh, Sara Lee Corp. North America’s chief operating officer. “We value the contributions made by our employees and are working to help them prepare for the future by providing severance and outplacement assistance.”

Sara Lee has more than 44,000 employees at manufacturing sites worldwide.

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InBev finalizes purchase of Anheuser-Busch

BY Jenna Duncan

LEUVEN, Belgium InBev announced today that it has finalizes its acquisition of U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch Cos.

The maker of Beck’s beer announced that the new company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev and will trade under a new symbol starting Nov. 20. The buyout deal was worth $52 billion total, or $70 per share.

The newly combined company will produce about one-quarter of the beer consumed in the world and will generate about $36 billion annually, the companies said.

InBev also has recently reached an agreement with regulators to sell holdings of the Labatt USA beer business and licenses.

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Kroger opens another ‘fresh fare’ store in Ohio

BY Jenna Duncan

CINCINNATI Kroger has opened its third fresh fare market in its home state, the company announced Tuesday.

The format of the fresh fare markets is designed to be more like a country grocery store than a traditional supermarket, with wider aisles and more gourmet options, reports said. The fresh fare stores also stocks many more options for ready-to-eat home meals, an expanded selection of organic produce, hearth-style pizzas and a build-it-yourself burrito bar.

Kroger’s fresh fare markets also carry less general merchandise items, such as home and yard furniture.

Kroger said that outside of Ohio it currently operates about 80 fresh fare markets, mostly on the West Coast, which operate under the Ralph’s umbrella.

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