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04/26/2022

Mondelēz International to Acquire Grupo Bimbo's Mexico Confectionery Business, Ricolino

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Ricolino brand chocolate bar Bubu Lubu

Mondelēz International is looking to double the size of its Mexico business via an acquisition of confectionary business, Ricolino.

An agreement with Grupo Bimbo specifies that the purchase amounts to $1.3 billion, bringing nearly 6,000 associates, four manufacturing facilities, and several distribution channels under the Mondelēz umbrella. 

The move will expand the brand’s presence in snacking, specifically providing an entry way into the chocolate segment with a brand that has a 50-year history in Mexico. Ricolino reports an estimated $500 million in annual revenue and 2,100 direct store delivery routes that reach 440,000 traditional trade outlets. 

“I want to take the opportunity to thank all of our associates for their dedication and commitment. They have given their best and I feel very proud of them,” said Fernando Lerdo de Tejada S., president of Ricolino.

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Popcornopolis zebra popcorn bag

Meanwhile, Grupo Bimbo’s exit allows it to focus solely on grain-based baking and snacking. The company acquired Popcornopolis for its Barcel USA snack division in 2021, purchasing it from private equity firm NexPhase Capital — marking its entrance into the U.S. popcorn category. 

Daniel Servitje, chairman and CEO of Grupo Bimbo, said that it ventured into the confectionery industry in 1970 with the establishment of Ricolino. Fifty-two years later, the company recognizes the accomplishment and is “deeply thankful” for the Ricolino family’s commitment and hard work. 

[Read more: Sifting Through Mountains of Data To Get Granular With Grupo Bimbo]

“I’m confident that Mondelēz International will leverage these amazing brands to a much higher position,” added Servitje.

Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International, stated the acquisition will provide a “step change for our business in Mexico, an important growth market for us.” Through the purchase, Van de Put said Mondelēz will be more than tripling its routes to market and growing its position in core snacking categories.

[More about Mondelēz: Preparing for a New Era of Consumer Data]

“We are thrilled to welcome Ricolino’s talented people and amazing brands into the Mondelēz International family,” added Van de Put.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and will be funded through an issuance of debt and cash on hand. The deal is expected to close in mid to late 2022.

The latest acquisition follows Mondelēz’s strategy to grow its snacking segments in key geographies. In January 2022, Mondelēz International closed on its purchase of Chipita S.A., a leading snacking company in the Central and Eastern European regions, and in 2021, the company acquired UK-based Grenade, a performance nutrition company, as well as Gourmet Food Holdings, an Australia-based food company, and Hu, a U.S.-based well-being snacking company. 

As the brand continues to grow its portfolio, it is taking a closer look at marketing innovation, placing a larger emphasis on social reach and personalization tactics. According to Mondelēz  research, more than half of survey respondents (55%) said social media has inspired them to try a new snack in the past year, with Gen Z-ers at 70% and millennials at 71%.

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