Grupo Bimbo (BIMBOA.MX), which is buying Sara Lee’s North American bakery business, sold its handmade bread loaves for the first time in 1945, from a small shop in the Mexican capital.
Six decades later, the company will become the world’s leading bread maker when it closes on the acquisition of the Sara Lee Corp (SLE.N) business for $925 million next year.
Its name, created by combining the words Bambi and bingo, has entered the Mexican culture and language but still raises eyebrows north of the border — where the company will now be the No. 1 player in the fresh bread market.
Grupo Bimbo SAB, the world’s largest bread maker, agreed to buy Sara Lee’s North American bakery business for $959 million as it boosts sales outside Mexico.
The transaction will likely close during the first half of 2011 and gives Mexico City-based Bimbo the right to the Sara Lee brand on bakery goods in the U.S. and regional brands such as Heiner’s and Rainbo, the company said today in a statement.
Bimbo, which makes Entenmann’s cakes, Thomas’ English Muffins and Mrs. Baird’s breads, currently gets most of its sales in Mexico. Buying the Sara Lee unit may help make the U.S. Bimbo’s largest market, building on its $2.5 billion purchase of George Weston Ltd.’s U.S. baking operations last year.