Earlier this week, the Mexican bread titan announced the acquisition of 100% of Panrico shares in Spain and Portugal, excluding the branded packaged bread category. Outside bread, the rest of Panrico’s portfolio is made up of donuts, packaged cakes, pastries and cookies.
Chris Brockman, research manager for Food & Drink at Mintel, said the move was about capacity increase but was also a very clear move to strengthen Bimbo’s sweet bakery coverage.
“With the exclusion of the packaged bread business from the deal, this is all about donuts and sweet bakery snacks,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com.
Panrico, he said, held the leading spot in Spain’s sweet bakery market with a 15.9% share in a fragmented market. Other players included Dulcesol, Mondelēz and Nutrexpa, he said, and own label made up 49% of the market.
“Panrico is very famous for its donuts, for example, and Bimbo is not as strong in sweet bakery so this buy gives it more scope to expand into sweet bakery products… There’s lots of consolidation opportunity.”
Brockman said the buy was “a good move” given the rise in snacking within the bakery sector.
Bimbo began operating in Spain in 1964 - business that was strengthened with the acquisition of Sara Lee in Spain and Portugal in 2011.
The multi-billion acquisition trail…
The buy-out follows a raft of acquisitions from Grupo Bimbo over recent years, predominantly in the Americas.
The Mexican bread titan has forked out C$1.9bn ($1.5bn) in acquisitions across Canada and just under $1bn in North America.
The bread major most recently acquired Saputo Bakery in Canada for C$120m ($97.1m) in December, last year. The sale was achieved through its Canadian subsidiary Canada Bread which Bimbo snapped up for C$1.83bn earlier in 2014.
In North America, Bimbo bought the Beefsteak bread brand from Hostess Foods in 2013 for $31m and Sara Lee’s North American, Spanish and Portuguese operations in 2011 for $959m.
Grupo Bimbo also acquired Ecuadorian firm Supan in July, 2014 – marking the first move into Ecuador for the Mexican major.
Rumors of a $2bn Hostess Brands sell-out have also connected Grupo Bimbo as an alleged suitor, along with Flowers Foods, Post and Aryzta.
Brockman said if the rumored acquisition did happen it would be an interesting addition for Bimbo.
“The global potential of the Hostess snack brand in particular would appeal to a company, for example Grupo Bimbo, which has global expansion ambitions. It would also deliver a big blow to its main US competitor Flowers Foods who has been building its sweet bakery focus in recent years,” he said.