Bimbo provides update on Sara Lee deal

by World Grain Staff
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DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Sara Lee’s fresh baking business in the U.S. will break even for the remainder of 2011 after Grupo Bimbo completes the acquisition, which is expected to happen in late June or early July, according to Guillermo Quiroz, chief financial officer of the Mexico City, Mexico-based company. In late 2010, the two companies announced that Grupo Bimbo was purchasing Sara Lee’s fresh baking business in the U.S.

During a recent conference call, JPMorgan analyst Alan Alanis noted that Sara Lee’s bakery performance in the U.S. has not been trending well since its November announcement and asked Quiroz what Grupo Bimbo can do until it acquires the Sara Lee’s fresh bakery business.

Quiroz responded that Grupo Bimbo is currently “cooperating very strongly” with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the acquisition of Sara Lee’s fresh baking business in the U.S.

“There's nothing we can do to interfere in the Sara Lee operation,” Quiroz said. “Sara Lee is formally today a competitor, so there's nothing we can do. Fortunately, our assumption … for Sara Lee is not very optimistic.

“We assume a basically break even six-month's period,” he added. “And so we will have to wait, and everything is going according to the schedule. It is a very, very complex process with literally millions of documents being sent to the DOJ, and all I can say, because that's all I know, is that we are still headed for late June or July.”
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