Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo has struck again in the M&A market with an agreement to acquire bakery firm Vel Pitar in Romania.
Grupo Bimbo is buying the business from New York-based private-equity fund NCH Capital, which holds Vel Pitar in its New Century Holdings fund.
A spokesperson for Grupo Bimbo confirmed the listed company has “reached an agreement” to acquire Vel Pitar, located in the town of Râmnicu Vâlcea, but added “at the moment we can’t share more information”. The deal marks a new market for the Mexican firm, which does not currently have any operations in Romania, the spokesperson told Just Food.
Founded in 2001, Vel Pitar produces branded bread, rolls, sweet treats such as donuts and pretzels supplied to the retail channel, according to its website. The business operates ten factories in nine Romanian cites, including Valcea, Arges, Brasov, Cluj, Galati, Lasi, Giurgiu, Gorj, Olt and Dambovita. The company employs more than 2,500 people.
Vel Pitar was the second-largest player in the bakery and cereals sector in Romania with a 10% share in market value terms in 2021, according to figures compiled by GlobalData. GoodMills Group is the leader with 13.9%, while ETI Gida ranks third with 6.2%.
Within bakery and cereals, bread and rolls are the largest category, according to the data from Just Food’s parent company.
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Approached by Just Food, NCH Capital declined to comment. The agri-business investor was set up in 1993 and is an investor in eastern Europe.
Last November, Grupo Bimbo struck a deal in the UK for St. Pierre Groupe, the “biggest brioche brand in the UK and America”, the Mexican firm informed Just Food at the time.
Based in Manchester, north-west England, St. Pierre supplies its own brand of bakery products and also the Baker Street and Paul Hollywood lines.
In 2021, Grupo Bimbo announced two purchases – Indian bakery business Kitty Bread and US popcorn maker Popcornopolis. The move for Kitty Bread came eight months after the group snapped up another Indian baker, Modern Foods.
Grupo Bimbo has also recently bought bakery assets in Brazil from Swiss peer ARYZTA along with US cookies maker Emmy’s Organics.
Disposals have also been in play. Spanish salty-snacks firm Grupo Apex bought the Pop Up popcorn brand from Grupo Bimbo last year, while the Mexican group divested its Mexican confectionery business Ricolino to Mondelez International.
Grupo Bimbo reported its most recent results in October for the third quarter. Sales rose 20% from a year earlier to MXN102.8bn (US$5.1bn). Operating income increased 37.6% to MXN11bn, while adjusted EBITDA was 15.2% higher at MXN14.5bn.
Net income climbed 50.8% to MXN6.1bn.