Sara Lee bakery owner Grupo Bimbo buys East Balt Bakeries from One Equity

Register now

Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. is purchasing East Balt Bakeries, a food manufacturer of breads, from private equity firm One Equity Partners for $650 million. One Equity is on Mergers & Acquisitions’ 10 Young and Thriving PE Firms Worth Watching list.

East Balt Bakeries began in 1995 as a single bakery in Chicago delivering buns to customers using one delivery truck. Today, the target operates from 21 “high-speed” bakeries across 11 countries producing a variety of fresh buns, including: bagels, biscuits, English muffins, soft and hard rolls, and Hawaiian and ciabatta style breads. East Balt Bakeries serves the foodservice channel, an industry involving businesses responsible for the preparation of meals outside the home. One Equity Partners acquired East Balt Bakeries in December 2012 and has since acquired three businesses through add-on deals.

Grupo Bimbo, headquartered in Mexico City, is a manufacturer of more than 13,000 bakery products. The buyer has a portfolio of more than 100 brands, including: Sara Lee's bakery division, Mrs. Bairds, Earthgrains and Heiners. Grupo Bimbo is expanding its international presence as it enters into eight new countries with East Balt Bakeries’ dough processing and baking facilities.

One Equity is a middle-market private equity firm that was founded in 2001 as Bank One's PE arm. In 2005, the firm became part of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) in the same capacity and in 2015, One Equity became independent through a completed spin-off. The firm has offices in New York, Chicago and Frankfurt.

One Equity has remained active in recent months. In February, the PE firm raised $1.65 billion in commitments to back industrial, healthcare and technology sectors. The firm also bought SGB-SMIT, a manufacturer of electrical power transformers, and specialty utility contractor Intren in July. Through its platform company W.W. Williams, One Equity has also acquired two truck maintenance service providers ASH and Desert Fleet.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC (NYSE: MS) is acting as financial adviser to One Equity, while Baker & McKenzie LLP is serving as legal counsel. KPMG LLP is also acting as diligence adviser to One Equity. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is serving as legal counsel to Grupo Bimbo.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.