Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo has extended its acquisition spree with UK peer St Pierre Groupe.
Grupo Bimbo acknowledged the deal for St Pierre Groupe in its third-quarter results yesterday (27 October) but did not provide any commentary or financial details.
The UK arm of Grupo Bimbo provided a statement to Just Food today (28 October) via a spokesperson: “We are delighted to be welcoming the St Pierre Groupe into the Grupo Bimbo fold. As the biggest brioche brand in the UK and America, it has already seen tremendous success within the category.”
A spokesperson for St Pierre Groupe, located in Manchester, north-west England, said the company has been “bought in its entirety and will continue to operate independently”.
“This is a fantastic achievement for our business and we are excited for the opportunities we will be able to take advantage of as part of the Grupo Bimbo family,” the spokesperson said in a statement provided to Just Food. “Grupo Bimbo is the largest baking company in the world, with the right infrastructure and expertise to propel our brands on to even greater success.”
Talk of a potential sale surfaced in July when Sky News reported the UK firm had hired advisers from US investment bank Harris Williams to “review strategic options that could include a GBP200m (then US$237.9m) partial or full sale, netting a windfall for shareholders such as the UK bank-backed Business Growth Fund”.
Meanwhile, BGF, an investment company also based in Manchester, revealed in a statement today “the successful exit of St Pierre Groupe”, noting it backed the company in 2018 to the tune of GBP8m.
St Pierre Groupe was founded by Paul Baker and Jeremy Gilboy and supplies its namesake brand, along with Baker Street and Paul Hollywood. Products are distributed in the UK, the US, Europe and the Middle East, according to BGF.
“During BGF’s investment period, the business has successfully scaled its operations internationally, including a rapid expansion programme in the USA, which now constitutes approximately 50% of the business’ annual sales revenue,” the investment firm said.
St Pierre Groupe’s turnover rose 8.4% to GBP111.5m last year, according to filings with Companies House. It stood at GBP69m in 2018, while the business employs more than 70 people, BGF noted.
Andy Gregory, CEO of BGF, said: “The business has proven its growth potential, and the results achieved during our investment period evidence the team’s commitment to growth and the solid foundations that we strive to build with our portfolio businesses to help them achieve their aims.”
Earlier this month, Spanish salty-snacks firm Grupo Apex said it had bought the Pop Up popcorn brand from Grupo Bimbo. A disposal has also just been completed of Grupo Bimbo’s Mexican confectionery business Ricolino to Mondelez International, a deal announced earlier in the year.
The Mexico firm has also been active in M&A. Last year, the company 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.
In September last year, Grupo Bimbo bought bakery assets in Brazil from Swiss peer Aryzta. Two months earlier, the company acquired US cookies maker Emmy’s Organics.
Grupo Bimbo reported third-quarter sales of MXN102.8bn (US$5.1bn), up 20% on a year earlier. Operating income rose 37.6% to MXN11bn, while adjusted EBITDA was 15.2% higher at MXN14.5bn.
Net income climbed 50.8% to MXN6.1bn.