Prince ‘thrilled’ by opportunities in Sara Lee deal

by Josh Sosland
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HORSHAM, PA. — Bimbo’s acquisition of the North American fresh baking business of Sara Lee will be highly positive for a wide range of constituents, said Gary Prince, president of Bimbo Bakeries USA in a Nov. 12 interview. Mr. Prince discussed the pending acquisition with Milling & Baking News/Baking & Snack magazines three days after Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. announced an agreement to acquire Sara Lee business.

“I’m thrilled to be a buyer of this property and put these two companies together, because I do think there is a real opportunity to create value that will meet the needs of many of our constituents, starting with our consumers and customers,” he said. “At the end of the day, this combination will be more productive and stronger than either company would be on a stand alone basis.”

Mr. Prince said B.B.U. and Sara Lee are complementary in terms of geographic footprint, product line and prospective investments needed to bolster the business in the long term. Throughout the years, the nation’s largest retailers have continued to expand in their markets by building new stores and revamping existing ones. The baking industry, he said, needs to do the same to better serve its primary customers in the long run.

“Unless you take the long view in business today, the choices you make may not sustain the business in the long term,” he said. “You must take a long-term view today.”

Looking five years out, Mr. Prince said “innovation” along with improving the production of more value-conscious mainstream products such as white bread will be the guiding principles driving change at B.B.U.

“We must be a much more productive company with sharpened strategies, wherever our footprint takes us, because that’s what matters most in today’s world,” he said.
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