Mondelez to buy Mexican breadmaker Bimbo’s Ricolino for $1.3 billion

Logo of Mondelez International is pictured at the company's building in Zurich

(Reuters) -Mondelez International Inc said on Monday it would buy breadmaker Grupo Bimbo’s confectionery business, Ricolino, for around $1.3 billion, as the Toblerone chocolate maker plans to expand in Mexico.

Several U.S. packaged food makers have been making big acquisitions in recent months as they strive to keep sales levels elevated after seeing demand skyrocket during the height of the pandemic when people hardly went to restaurants.

The Ricolino deal, the latest in Mondelez’s buying spree, will double the size of the Oreo maker’s business in Mexico, a “high-priority” market, and expand its snacking business, the U.S. firm said.

The Ricolino business, which brought in around $500 million in annual revenue, also includes brands such as Vero, La Corona and Coronado and makes several confectionary products including lollipops, marshmallows, chocolates and gummies.

Mondelez earlier this year acquired Greek food firm Chipita S.A. for $2 billion after buying British nutrition firm Grenade, Australian biscuit maker Gourmet Food Holdings and U.S.-based Hu last year.

Ricolino, which employs nearly 6,000 workers, has four manufacturing facilities and distributes its products to several channels, including supermarkets and convenience stores.

The deal is expected to close by the early days of the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)