Mexican tortilla maker GRUMA is to use the proceeds of the sale of its stake in banking company Grupo Financiero Banorte to pay down its debt.

Gruma has completed the sale of its 8.8% stake in Banorte and received MXN9.23bn (US$761.4m) from the disposal, before commissions and expenses.

Gruma, which is based in the Mexican city of Monterrey, employs 20,000 staff and has 94 plants. In 2009, Gruma had annual sales of US$3.86bn, of which 73% was generated overseas.