Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) announced that its parent company Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. de C.V. has acquired the North American Fresh Bakery business of Sara Lee Corp.
“This transaction demonstrates Grupo Bimbo’s commitment and singular focus on baking,” said Gary Prince, BBU president. “Our goal is to build a U.S. bakery business that provides the highest quality products and best value to customers and consumers.”
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory review, is highly complementary across product lines, bakeries and geographies. Sara Lee’s product family, including Soft & Smooth, fits well with Bimbo Bakeries’ variety bread and specialty products.
“Over the past decade Sara Lee has built a successful portfolio with its Soft & Smooth breads which is a perfect complement to BBU’s line of variety products,” Prince said. The companies’ bakery networks also are well balanced. “When added to BBU’s facilities, Sara Lee’s bakeries provide us with a strong national network, as Sara Lee has a significant presence in the Midwest and Southeast while BBU’s base is in the Northeast and Texas,” Prince added.
BBU also announced that it plans to invest in excess of $1 billion in the U.S. over the next five years to create an efficient manufacturing and service platform to serve its customers. When completed, the combined company will have over 28,000 associates and operate 75 bakeries in 31 states and serve the entire U.S. market through a network of over 13,000 sales routes.
“We will build new bakeries where we need them. We will renew existing facilities. And, we will improve our technology and infrastructure,” said Prince. “We are investing in manufacturing facilities and manufacturing jobs across the United States.”
The combined company will have a strategic network of bakeries and distribution systems. “We expect to grow the Sara Lee route system by expanding Soft & Smooth’s geographic reach. At the same time, we expect to grow the BBU route system with a renewed focus on variety and innovation,” said Prince.
BBU will also invest in and renew its regional brands and supply systems. “Both Sara Lee and BBU have a wonderful collection of regional brands with rich histories of serving their local markets. Our investments in the supply chain will position these regional brands to grow and flourish,” said Prince. “I see significant opportunities for associates of both companies as a result of this transaction. People who want to be fully engaged in making our company better every day will find a welcome home in our new business.”
This acquisition joins the iconic Sara Lee brand in fresh bakery and particularly the family of Soft & Smooth products with BBU’s leading brands including Thomas’, Arnold, Brownberry, Oroweat, Mrs Bairds, Stroehmann, Freihofer’s, Bimbo and Entenmann’s.