Bunge Alimentos S.A., the Brazilian commodity and food subsidiary of Bunge International Limited (Bunge), today announced the sale of Plus Vita S.A., its consumer fresh bread and baked goods business, to the Bimbo Group of Mexico for R$132 million (US$63.5 million). Proceeds from the sale will be used to finance expansion in other consumer and food service businesses.

”The sale of Plus Vita represents a logical step in Bunge Alimentos’ overall strategy to focus on and invest in businesses that have clear synergies, in terms of inputs, production or logistics, with our other operations,” stated Julio Cardoso, president of the Santista Division of Bunge Alimentos. ”By selling our bread business, which was always an independent operation, we can invest more aggressively in key areas like mayonnaise, wheat milling, oils and margarines.”

The company expects to invest nearly R$210 million (US$100 million) during the next three years to modernize its wheat milling capacity, double its production of mayonnaise, and increase its capacity in the margarine, bakery mix and functional ingredient sectors.

Bunge Alimentos was formed last year from the merger of Bunge’s Brazilian commodity and downstream food businesses, Ceval Alimentos and Santista Alimentos. The merger, which garnered tax and operational efficiencies, was a major step in Bunge’s strategy to create a vertically integrated, global food company. Today, Bunge Alimentos owns some of Brazil’s most popular brands, is the nation’s largest producer of margarines and soy oils for consumer and commercial use, and is the largest soybean processor and wheat miller in Latin America.

Bunge International Limited, headquartered in White Plains, NY, is a leading global force in the agribusiness and food industries. Building on a 180-year history, Bunge has an extensive portfolio of businesses, uniquely positioned in some of the world’s fastest growing markets, which span the entire chain of food production. The company processes one-fifth of the world’s soybeans, markets oilseeds and grains through a sales network spanning five continents, operates the largest fertilizer business in South America and sells market-leading industrial and consumer food products in the U.S. and Brazil. By capitalizing on synergies among these businesses and maintaining a decentralized management structure, Bunge maximizes efficiencies while remaining close to the needs of its customers.