M&As

Mondelēz agrees sale with Grupo Bimbo for Ricolino and other key chocolate brands

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelēz is set to expand its portfolio in Mexico with Grupo Bimbo confectionery acquisition. Pic: Mondelēz International
Mondelēz is set to expand its portfolio in Mexico with Grupo Bimbo confectionery acquisition. Pic: Mondelēz International

Related tags: Mondelez International, Grupo bimbo

Mondelēz International is set to acquire iconic chocolate and candy brands including Ricolino, Vero, La Corona and Coronado from Grupo Bimbo, Mexico’s leading confectionery company.

The $1.3bn deal between the two giants will transform Mondelēz’s business in the high-priority Mexico market to accelerate growth and scale in core snacking categories.

Ricolino is a growing business with a leading confectionery position in Mexico with approximately $500m in annual revenue, employing almost 6,000 staff.

An attractive entry point 

The acquisition will double the size of Mondelēz Mexico’s business and provides an attractive entry point into the chocolate category, while expanding the company’s presence in snacking.

It also provides significant opportunities for synergies and accelerated growth. For Grupo Bimbo, the leading baking company in the world, this transaction will enable focus on its grain-based baking and snacks businesses.

This acquisition will provide a step change for our business in Mexico, an important growth market for us, more than tripling our routes to market and growing our position in core snacking categories​,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. “We are thrilled to welcome Ricolino’s talented people and amazing brands into the Mondelēz International family​.”

Ricolino’s chocolate and candy brands have been established in Mexico for over 50 years and the company has more than 2,100 direct store delivery routes that reach 440,000 traditional trade outlets, providing significant scale and broad brand availability.

We ventured into the confectionery industry with the establishment of Ricolino in 1970; today, after 52 years of growth and progress, it is the industry leader in Mexico. We truly recognize the Ricolino family for this amazing accomplishment and are deeply thankful for their commitment and hard work. I’m confident that Mondelēz International will leverage these amazing brands to a much higher position​,” said Daniel Servitje, Chairman and CEO of Grupo Bimbo.

The acquisition of Ricolino will also build on Mondelēz International’s continued prioritisation of fast-growing snacking segments in key geographies.

In January 2022, Mondelēz International closed on its acquisition of Chipita SA, the leader in the Central and Eastern European snack-size cakes and pastries category.

Andrew Lazar, a market analyst at Barclays, said: “One of the more compelling aspects of this acquisition, is the potential for MDLZ to be able to leverage the route to market capabilities of Ricolino for its core biscuit business.

“That is, currently, MDLZ’s Mexico business is largely candy & gum being sold primarily through the modern trade.

“Ricolino, on the other hand, has more than half of its sales going through the mom and pop/traditional trade ('up and down the street') and the business is bringing with it more than 2,100 direct store delivery (DSD) routes, which reach 440,000 traditional trade outlets, more than tripling MDLZ’s routes to market in Mexico.

“We would not be surprised to see MDLZ utilide this route to market capability to drive meaningful distribution for its iconic global biscuit brands, similar to the successful playbook the company is employing in other key emerging markets, such as India.”

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