Grupo Bimbo maintains global acquisition strategy with bolt-on of Romanian bakery leader

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Vel Pitar is Romania’s second-largest player in the bakery and cereal sector. Pic: GettyImages/Dougal Waters
Vel Pitar is Romania’s second-largest player in the bakery and cereal sector. Pic: GettyImages/Dougal Waters

Related tags Grupo bimbo Vel Pitar SA Romania NCH Capital Bakery

The Mexican bakery giant has acquired Vel PItar SA – a major player in branded breads and other baked goods in Romania – from US private equity firm NCH Capital for an undisclosed amount.

A spokesperson confirmed Bimbo had “reached an agreement”​ to acquire 100% of the shares of the Râmnicu Vâlcea-based producer, which is held under NCH Capital’s New Century Holdings fund.

2nd​ largest Romanian baker

Map of Romania Juonmomimo
Pic: GettyImages

Vel Pitar was formed in 2001 through the merger of four NCH-owned companies – Mopariv Vâlcea, Berceni Bucharest, Granpan Tecuci and Panegrano Cluj – with operations in bakery and milling. The milling operations were placed under the Sapte Spice company, which was not taken over by Bimbo and remains in NCH's portfolio.

Within two decades, Vel Pitar has grown into Romania’s second-largest player in the bakery and cereal sector with a 10% market share (GlobalData), with a 2,500-strong workforce managing 10 factories across the country. It claims its products – including branded bread, rolls, pretzels and sweet treats like doughnuts – are eaten by over 1 million Romanians daily.

In 2021, Vel Pitar posted a 5% increase in turnover to RON 586.2m ($128.6m) and a net profit of RON 68.5m ($15.06m).

"The shares of the company Vel Pitar SA were sold to the Bimbo group. Vel Pitar is a company owned by American investors (NCH Capital), but built and managed by an exclusively Romanian team,”​ said Andrei Siminel Andrei, who manages the business locally for NCH.

The agri-business investor was set up in 1993 and is a serious investor in eastern Europe. The Vel Pitar transaction is NCH’s 27th​ exit from owned companies.

World’s largest baker

Grupo Bimbo 1

Mexico-headquartered Grupo Bimbo ​is already the world’s largest bakery manufacturer, but still maintains its aggressive acquisition strategy, most recently snapping up the UK brioche leader St. Pierre Groupe,​ Indian bakery businesses Kitty Bread and Modern Foods, US popcorn maker Popcornopolis, US cookie maker Emmy’s Organics and the Brazilian bakery assets of Swiss peer Aryzta, among others.

Founded in 1943, Bimbo has a footprint in 33 countries, employing over 138,000 workers worldwide. It has one of the largest distribution networks in the world, with more than 55,000 routes and over 3.3 million sales points.

In October 2022, Bimbo posted a 20% increase in 3Q sales to MXN102.8bn ($5.1b), a 37.6% rise in operating income to MXN11b ($585m) and adjusted EBITDA of MXN14.5b ($771m). Net income climbed 50.8% to MXN6.1b ($324m).

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