MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. has reached an agreement to acquire the Argentina bakery and food service business of Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.-based General Mills, Inc. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The transaction would include General Mills’ bakery and food service business and all associated facilities, equipment, land and inventory in Argentina, as well as employment contracts for the production and salaried staff. The business currently employs about 360.
“Through this acquisition … Grupo Bimbo will continue consolidating its presence in the South American market, complementing its supply in the category of frozen bread that the company is already manufacturing under the Bertrand brand,” Grupo Bimbo said.
Grupo Bimbo started operations in Argentina in 1995 and is the leader of the bread industry in that country with five plants and a portfolio of products in the categories of bread, buns, tortillas and sweet rolls, among others.
General Mills has operated the bakery and food service business in Argentina since 2001, when it took over the business as part of its acquisition of Pillsbury from Diageo Plc. The portfolio includes bread, pastries, small baked foods and Medialunas — the Argentinian version of croissants.
General Mills said it will continue to operate its retail food business in Argentina, including the La Salteña brand.
“We would like to thank members of the Argentina bakery and food service team, who have performed well despite challenging conditions,” said Sean Walker, president of General Mills Latin America. “Having assessed our performance in the current business environment, we have determined that we need to prioritize other growth opportunities within our Latin American portfolio.”
General Mills expects to complete the transaction by May 2.
The sell-off of the Argentina bakery and food service business continues a strategic decision by General Mills to tighten its portfolio in Latin America. The company late last month exited Venezuela, selling off its Venezuela business to Lengfeld Inc., a private, international investor with a presence in Venezuela. The business primarily manufactures and sells canned meats under the Underwood brand, but it also includes the Rico Jam and Frescarini pasta brands. General Mills employs about 611 people in Venezuela, all of whom will remain with the divested business.