Mondelēz International has entered into an agreement with Grupo Bimbo to acquire its confectionery business, Ricolino, for approximately $1.3 billion. 

Mondelēz said the acquisition will transform its business in the high-priority Mexico market to accelerate growth and scale in core snacking categories.

With approximately $500 million in annual revenue, Ricolino employs close to 6,000 people, has four manufacturing facilities and distributes its products to several channels, including traditional trade, supermarkets, convenience stores and others. Its brands Ricolino, Vero, La Corona and Coronado are leaders in lollipops, marshmallows, chocolates, gummies and other confectionery products.

Mondelēz noted the acquisition will double the size of its Mexican division’s business and provide an entry point into the chocolate category, while expanding the company’s presence in snacking. This transaction will also enable Grupo Bimbo to 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.”

Many of Ricolino’s chocolate and candy brands have more than 50 years’ history in Mexico. The company’s more than 2,100 direct store delivery routes reach 440,000 traditional trade outlets, providing 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,” said Daniel Servitje, chairman and CEO of Grupo Bimbo. “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.”

Mondelēz added the Ricolino acquisition will build on its continued prioritization of fast-growing snacking segments in key geographies. In January, the company closed on its acquisition of Chipita S.A., the leader in the Central and Eastern European snack-size cakes and pastries category. This followed a year of growth in 2021 supported by the acquisition of Grenade, a UK performance nutrition company; Gourmet Food Holdings, an Australian food company in the attractive premium biscuit and cracker category; and Hu, a well-being snacking company in the United States.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, will be funded through an issuance of debt and cash on hand and is expected to close late in the third quarter or the fourth quarter of 2022.