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Flowers Foods expands its bakery empire in the West Coast with Sara Lee/Earthgrains licensing deal

By Elaine WATSON , 26-Oct-2012
Last updated on 30-Oct-2012 at 18:14 GMT

Flowers Foods has expanded its bakery empire with the acquisition of certain Sara Lee and Earthgrains assets and trademarks in California and Oklahoma City from Grupo Bimbo subsidiary BBU, Inc, for an undisclosed sum.

Under the deal, Georgia-based Flowers will receive exclusive licenses to the Sara Lee and Earthgrains brands for sliced breads, buns, and rolls in California, which account for annual sales of $134m.  

It will also receive a license to the Earthgrains brand for a range of fresh bakery products in the Oklahoma City area.

The Oklahoma City license will be completed shortly, while the first phase of the California transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.

Flowers Foods' chairman and CEO George E. Deese said, "The acquisition strengthens our market presence in California, adding about 14.5 million people to the 70% of the U.S. population that currently has access to our fresh breads and rolls.”

On the acquisition trail

Deese: 'This acquisition strengthens our market presence in California, adding about 14.5 million people to the 70% of the U.S. population that currently has access to our fresh breads and rolls...'

Flowers, which recently expanded its bakery empire in the Northeast with the acquisition of Maine-based Lepage Bakeries for $370m, has snapped up more than 100 companies since going public in 1968.

Speaking to analysts about Flowers Foods’ second quarter results in August, president Allen Shiver said: “With a category this large, we are confident in our plans to grow our company in our existing markets, our new expansion markets and through additional acquisitions, as industry consolidation continues to ramp up at an ever-increasing pace.”

Flowers operates 41 bakeries supplying fresh products to foodservice and retail customers in the Southeastern, Southwestern, and mid-Atlantic states, and frozen products to national foodservice and retail customers.

Its top brands include Nature's Own, Whitewheat, Cobblestone Mill, Tastykake, Mrs. Freshley's, European Bakers, BlueBird, and Mi Casa.

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