White & Case Secures DOJ Clearance for Grupo Bimbo's Sara Lee Acquisition | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
White & Case Secures DOJ Clearance for Grupo Bimbo's Sara Lee Acquisition

White & Case Secures DOJ Clearance for Grupo Bimbo's Sara Lee Acquisition

Global law firm White & Case LLP has secured merger clearance from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for Grupo Bimbo to complete its acquisition of Sara Lee Corp.'s North American bakery business. The settlement was filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia today.

The transaction combines the two largest bread companies in the United States and merges the iconic Sara Lee brand with Grupo Bimbo's broad portfolio of bread and sandwich thins, including Thomas' English Muffins and Bagels, Arnold, Entenmanns, Oroweat, Bimbo and Boboli.

"When the acquisition closes, Grupo Bimbo will be the largest baked-goods company in North America," said George Paul, White & Case antitrust partner. "This transformative deal will significantly expand Grupo Bimbo's coverage in the United States and enable Bimbo to invest heavily in modernizing bread production in the US as it has done around the world."

The acquisition, which has an announced value of US$959 million, has been under review by the DOJ's Antitrust Division since it was signed in November 2010. It was one of the first transactions examined under the agency's revised 2010 Merger Guidelines.

"We are pleased with how smoothly the review process proceeded," said Paul. "There are no shortcuts under the new guidelines. The agency will look under every rock, but the DOJ and parties worked cooperatively to get through an extensive investigation and mountains of data as expeditiously as possible."

Paul led the White & Case antitrust team during the DOJ review with partner Noah Brumfield. Mark Leddy and Jeremy Calsyn of Cleary Gottlieb also acted as antitrust counsel.

Paul and Brumfield previously represented Grupo Bimbo in connection with its January 2009, US$2.5 billion acquisition of the fresh baked goods business of Weston Foods, Inc.

To view the proposed final judgment agreed to with the DOJ, please click here.

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