DETROIT (AP) _ Sara Lee Corp. has signed a letter of intent under which it will acquire Zeeland-based Bil-Mar Foods Inc., the food processing companies announced Monday.

Under the agreement, Chicago-based Sara Lee will exchange common stock for all outstanding Bil-Mar stock, Sara Lee said in a statement. Specific terms were not disclosed.

Following the merger, Bil-Mar will remain under the management of co- founders Marvin DeWitt, chairman, and William DeWitt Sr., vice chairman; and of three other Bil-Mar executives including two DeWitt family members, Sara Lee said.

The DeWitt family founded Bil-Mar in 1938 as a processor of whole turkeys. It since has moved into the manufacture of processed turkey foods, marketing its products to the retail trade under its Mr. Turkey brand.

The privately held company has 1,000 employees and had 1986 sales of $190 million.

Sara Lee, known primarily as a maker of baked goods, has acquired processed meat companies in recent years, including Jimmy Dean brand sausages. Sara Lee had sales of $7.94 billion last year.