NEW YORK — Sara Lee Corp. is getting closer to spinning off its branded apparel business to stockholders.

The spin-off of Hanesbrands Inc. is expected to happen this summer, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The business, which includes brands such as Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, Just My Size, Barely There and Wonderbra, added $4.7 billion in net sales to Sara Lee’s top line in 2005.

Sara Lee said it would distribute all of the outstanding shares of Hanesbrands common stock to its stockholders in the spin-off, which will take place between June and September of this year. The distribution ratio will be determined before the spin-off occurs.

“With today’s filing, the final phase necessary for Hanesbrands Inc. to become a separate publicly traded company has been initiated,” Brenda Barnes, chairman and chief executive officer of Sara Lee, said in a statement.

The spin-off will make Sara Lee Corp. an integrated operating company focused on food, beverage, household and body care products, she said.

This story first appeared in the May 25, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.