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Sara Lee Corp. has decided to retain and restructure its Champion Products business in the United States after earlier putting the athletic apparel unit up for sale. Champion operates a licensed apparel plant in Perry in Wyoming County.

"As we talked with potential buyers, it became clear that the Champion property was a more valuable asset within our organization -- especially the core, branded business where we hold a competitive advantage," said Gerald Evans, the president and chief executive of Sara Lee Activewear.

Sara Lee had put its worldwide Champion operations up for sale last May, and announced in January it expects to sell its Champion Europe operations in the third quarter.

It plans to sell the Champion college-bookstore business, which sells items such as college sweatshirts, to Gear for Sports Inc.

Champion makes branded activewear and licensed apparel in partnership with the NBA, the NFL, XFL and colleges. The division also makes women's athletic apparel.

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