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Sara Lee Buys Mexico Underwear Maker

December 2, 1992

CHICAGO (AP) _ Sara Lee Corp. has acquired Mexico’s leading maker of men’s and boy’s underwear, company officials announced.

The purchase of Rinbros SA de CV helps the Chicago-based conglomerate expands its presence in a ″major growth market,″ said Jack Ward, chief executive officer of Sara Lee Knit Products.

Sara Lee announced the acquisition Tuesday, but refused to disclose details such as price.

Rinbros employs 600 people. It sells mainly through mass merchants and department stores. Sara Lee already owns House of Fuller in Mexico, which specializes in door-to-door sales of cosmetics, household and personal products.

Sara Lee had told shareholders Oct. 29 that it planned to invest much of its $700 million capital-spending budget this year in overseas acquisitions of hosiery, underwear and other apparel concerns.

Analyst John McMillin of Prudential Bache Research estimates Rinbros’ annual sales at $25 million, a small amount compared to Sara Lee’s overall sales of $13.2 billion for the year ended June 1992.

But McMillin says the move is not insignificant.

″It just reinforces the belief that Sara Lee’s primary emphasis on growth is outside the United States,″ he said.

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