Sara Lee has continued its break-up with the sale of its North American coffee business for $350m (£218.6m) to JM Smucker.

The deal comes as Sara Lee presses on with plans to split into two publicly traded companies – a US foodservice and meat business, and an international beverages business.

Four hundred and fifty staff will switch to JM Smucker as part of the latest deal.

“In recent years, our North American coffee business has been foodservice-based and largely unbranded, which is a challenge in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Sara Lee chairman Jan Bennink.

“Our decision to sell a major part of this business to Smucker is an example of Sara Lee Coffee & Tea’s renewed focus on sustainable, profitable growth and part of our mandate to create the strongest possible pure-play company.”

Last month Michiel Herkemij was hired as chief executive of Sara Lee’s international beverage business.

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