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    Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. de C.V.

    Prol. Paseo De La Reforma No. 1000,
    Peña Blanca Santa Fe, Alvaro Obregón
    Phone: +52-5552686600
    Ciudad De MexicoDistrito FederalFax: +52-5552686697
    01210
    MexicoMap Map This Company
    http://www.grupobimbo.comHoover's coverage by Sylvia Lambert

    History

    Starting with 10 trucks and bread in cellophane wrappers, in 1945 Lorenzo Servitje and associates, including Jaime Jorba, began deliveries of their Bimbo-brand breads around Mexico City.

    Two years later distribution spread to three other cities. Steady growth for Grupo Industrial Bimbo followed during the 1950s and 1960s, with new plants opening in Guadalajara and Monterrey. In 1962 Jorba left the company, returned to Spain, and created Bimbo España. In 1964, when Continental Bakeries introduced Wonder Bread to Mexico, Bimbo countered with a similarly positioned bread line using the licensed US Sunbeam brand.

    By 1972 the company was firmly established as the bread-market leader in Mexico when it began making corn tortillas. The next year the company founded Frexport, its jam and jelly unit.

    The company went public in 1980 but remained firmly under the control of the Servitje family. A major leap in the company's vision for itself came when it created a bun for McDonald's. Bimbo won the exclusive contract to supply buns to Mexico's McDonald's in 1985. In 1986 Bimbo acquired rival Continental Bakeries' Wonder Bread brand in Mexico, thus securing a virtual monopoly on the Mexican packaged-bread market. Future growth would come from international expansion.

    During the 1990s Bimbo began a steady stream of acquisitions and construction of plants in Guatemala (1990), Chile (1992), Venezuela (1993), and Peru (1998). Daniel Servitje Montull was named CEO of Bimbo in 1997.

    The company began doing contract work in the mid-1990s for German confectioner Park Lane, leading up to its 1998 purchase of Park Lane; it also established a factory in the Czech Republic. However, the company's boldest move was its 1998 purchase of Mrs. Baird's, the largest family-owned US bakery, based in Fort Worth, Texas. The company formed Bimbo Bakeries USA to control the Mrs. Baird's business and move closer to its US competition. In 1999 it acquired the Four-S bakery business in California. Four-S came with the popular local Weber brand of bread.

    In 1999 the company shortened its name to Grupo Bimbo. That year it was awarded the exclusive contract to supply buns to McDonald's in Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.

    During 2000 Grupo Bimbo completed the spinoff of its flour mills and processed jellies units, with the agreement that they would continue supplying Grupo Bimbo. Roberto Servitje Achútegui, grandson of founder Lorenzo Servitje, left the company that year to run a new company, Grupo Altex. In 2001 Bimbo bought Plus Vita, a fresh bread and baked goods business, from Bunge Alimentos (a subsidiary of agribusiness giant Bunge Limited). In 2001 Grupo Bimbo purchased a bread baking operation in Costa Rica from tortilla-giant and rival Gruma.

    Grupo Bimbo purchased five western US Orowheat production facilities in 2002 from George Weston. The acquisition gave the company access to some well-known consumer brands including Thomas' English Muffins, Entenmann's, and Boboli. That year it also closed its Mrs. Baird's bakery facility in Dallas.

    As part of its strategy to concentrate on its consumer businesses, in 2003 Bimbo sold its 42% stake in packaging business Novacel to French aluminum company Pechiney (now a part of Rio Tinto Alcan) for $38 million. It also closed its Dallas Orowheat bakery that year. Bimbo, along with a consortium of other companies, took over Argentinean bakery business Compañía de Alimentos de Fargo in 2003. Bimbo's stake in Fargo is 30%.

    In 2004 the company bought three Mexican confectionery companies: Joyco de México, Alimentos Duval, and Lolimen. Bimbo expanded into frozen bakery-product manufacturing that year,as well, when it formed a joint venture with Rich Products to produce frozen and partially baked goods under the Fripan brand name.

    The number of Bimbo's acquisitions continued to increase during 2005 as the company bought Colombian bread maker Lalo, Chilean pastry manufacturer Lagos el Sur, Mexican pastry manufacturer Pastelerías El Globo, and Mexican confectioner La Corona. It purchased two Uruguayan bakery companies in 2006 for about $7 million: Walter M. Doldan y Cia and Los Sorchantes.

    Marking its entry into China, in 2006 the company purchased the Chinese unit of Spanish baker Panrico SA.

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