TORONTO — Ongoing negotiations to sell its U.S. bakery business have increased speculation that George Weston Ltd. here could use the proceeds from that sale to take Loblaw Cos. private. Weston is a 62% stakeholder in Loblaw. In response to a leaked report last week, George Weston confirmed it was in talks to sell its U.S. bakery business — the largest in the U.S. — to Grupo Bimbo in a deal analysts say could raise more than $1.5 billion. That money, analysts speculated, could be used to take Loblaw private. Loblaw shares gained more than 5% Thursday and were up again in midday trading Friday.
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