Bakeries' Dough Goes Into Mergers

THE MESSAGE IN A SPATE OF recent deals: If you can't stand the heat in the low-margin bakery business, get out or get bigger. On Aug. 7, CPC International agreed to buy Entenmann's and other Kraft Foods bakery units for $865 million. Two weeks earlier, Anheuser-Busch said it would spin off Campbell Taggart to shareholders. And Interstate Bakeries completed its deal for Ralston-Purina's Continental Baking, merging Dolly Madison and Butternut brands with Hostess cakes and Wonder bread. United Biscuits also has its Keebler unit on the block.