On January 21, 2009 Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV acquired Weston Foods, Inc., the US bakery business of leading Canadian food processor and distributor George Weston Ltd., for approximately US$2.5 billion. The deal makes Grupo Bimbo one of the world's largest baked foods companies. The assets being sold include the Arnold, Brownberry, Entenmann's, Freihofer, Stroehmann and Thomas brand names. Grupo Bimbo will gain 22 bakeries, more than 4,000 distribution routes and approximately US$125 in financial assets of Weston Foods.
George Weston Limited is a public company founded in 1882 and, through its operating subsidiaries, constitutes one of North America's largest food processing and distribution groups with more than 148,000 employees. Grupo Bimbo has more than 85,900 associates and operations in 17 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. The acquisition makes Bimbo the fourth-largest baking concern in the US and will give it access to a market of 120 million people in 23 states in the US and the rights to about 1,300 direct distribution routes. Bimbo currently has 80 plants, 800 distribution centres and 36,500 distribution routes in 18 countries.
Grupo Bimbo was represented in the US by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP with a team led by Ana Demel and Chantal E. Kordula and consisting of Sandrine Rousso Elbaz, Glorimari Vargas, Gaston de los Reyes, Jonathan Balcom and Paulina Gil-White. In Canada Grupo Bimbo was represented by Stikeman Elliott LLP with a team led by Gordon Cameron (New York) and consisting of Robert Notkin (corporate) in New York; Justine Whitehead and Vivien Tzau (intellectual property) in Ottawa; Lorna Cuthbert, Andrea Boctor and Lelia Constantini (employment and benefits); Savvas Kotsopoulos (real estate); Sandy Walker (competition); and John Lorito and Katy Pitch (tax) in Toronto.
George Weston was represented by Mayer Brown LLP with a team that included Marc Sperber, Christian Fabian, Thomas Dimond, Debra Hoffman, Leonard X. Rosenberg, Thomas Bottomlee, Michael Gill and Richard Favretto.