The Department of Justice has given the green light for the food company Grupo Bimbo to acquire Sara Lee Corp.’s North American bakery business at a value of $959 million.
White & Case Washington-based partners George Paul and Noah Brumfield headed up the firm’s antitrust team representing Grupo Bimbo. Cleary Gottlieb’s Mark Leddy and Jeremy Calsyn also served as antitrust counsel.
In 2008, Grupo Bimbo, originally a Mexican company, purchased Weston Foods Inc., making the company the largest bakery in the United States.
“Bimbo’s acquisition of Sara Lee is transformative in that it will permit Grupo Bimbo to be a truly national bread company,” Paul said.
In the past, Grupo Bimbo has been concentrated on the eastern half of the U.S., but the merger will allow the company to expand its reach. Additionally, the company has committed to building modern baking facilities throughout the U.S. As a result, consumers will see more aggressive marketing of bread at lower prices, according to Paul.
Paul and Brumfield also represented Grupo Bimbo in its $2.5 billion acquisition of Weston Foods.
This is one of the first transactions that underwent the DOJ’s revised 2010 Merger Guidelines, a more thorough examination and update compared to the previous 1992 guidelines.
“The process, even under the new guidelines went smoothly,” Paul said. “The department was cooperative and tried to move the analysis along.”