Mexico's Grupo Bimbo buys US bakery division

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo is buying the U.S. subsidiary of Canada's George Weston Ltd. for $2.3 billion, making it one of the world's largest bakery companies.

Weston Foods Inc. makes bread, rolls, muffins, bagels and sweet breads at 22 U.S. plants. The brands include Entenmann's, Thomas, Arnold and Boboli.

Bimbo's General Director Daniel Servitje says in a news release Wednesday that the acquisition is the most important in the 63-year-old company's history.

The company has acquired financing from an unidentified institution for the purchase, and it will be structured through a one-year, $600 million bridge credit facility, and a long-term credit of $1.7 billion.

Bimbo operates in 18 countries.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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