Sara Lee has been an American icon since the 1940's. When you hear the brand name you think of breads, pies and cakes, and baked goods that Mom prepared in the kitchen.
But times have changed.
After owning everything from Piggly Wiggly's and Electrolux, to Hanes underwear and Isotoner gloves, Sara Lee's primary businesses are now in coffee and meats.
So, it is with a little less surprise that we hear that Sara Lee may be bought by a Brazilian meat-processing company called JBS.
Of course, JBS isn't the first Brazilian company to buy an American icon. In 2008 Brazil's InBev bought Anheuser-Busch, and eariler this year, a Brazilian buyout firm acquired Burger King.
So, a Sara Lee purchase by a company that started out as a Brazilian butcher shop and grew to be a multi-national conglomerate is another demonstration of how places around the world we used to call "emerging markets" are now taking the lead in owning American companies.
From The Wall Street Journal: "For companies across South America and Asia, U.S. acquisition targets bring both prestige and turnaround opportunities. Bankrolled by dominant positions in their home markets and using strong local currencies, these companies now have the wherewithal to consider once-unthinkable deal combinations. Companies in China, India, Brazil and the Middle East have collectively spent more than $135 billion in the past five years on their 50 top acquisitions in the U.S., according to Dealogic data."