The Mexican-based transnational corporation Bimbo identifies
its brand with a cute little white bear. In all its bread
packaging, it displays an image of the snow-white bear’s
head, front paws and upper torso. But in spite of the
company’s efforts to show a wholesome, innocent bear and
hide its foul-smelling tail, the truth is that there’s more
to the lovable bear than meets the eye. The following two
news items are telling examples of the real Bimbo Bear.
is set to begin operating 35 plants in the United
States, employing 15,000 workers and covering 7,000
routes, and when it does, it will become the largest bread
manufacturer in the world. This will happen once Bimbo
finalizes the purchase of the bread manufacturing business
of George Weston Foods, for which it will pay 2.38
billion dollars, according to statements by the Mexican
company’s CEO Daniel Servitje.
With the Weston Foods merger, Bimbo –which
already has a significant presence in the United States’
west coast– will close the 2008 fiscal year with sales
estimated at 9.63 billion dollars, 50 percent of which will
be from the Mexican market, 40 percent from the US market,
and 10 percent from Latin America.
Now all Bimbo has to do is comply with a few legal
and financial requirements and obtain the authorization of
relevant antitrust bodies to become the top global bread
manufacturer, pushing Kraft out of the leading
position in the industry.
The transaction is made possible through 2.38 billion
dollars in financing from Bank of America, BBVA,
Banamex/Citi, HSBC, ING and
Santander, which saw it as a wise move in a market that
is not vulnerable to breakdowns like the automobile or
mortgage industries. With these loans, Grupo Bimbo’s
liabilities will jump from 800 million dollars to
approximately 3 billion.
information from La Jornada, Mexico 12.11.08
While Bimbo was doing its multi-millionaire dance in
the United States, down south, at a Ministry of Labor and
Social Security conciliation hearing in
Montevideo, Uruguay, the transnational corporation tried
to settle a work accident claim with a mere 330 dollars.
That was the total sum it offered as compensation for the
death of one of its workers.
On December 9, the transnational corporation’s local
company, Panificadora Bimbo del Uruguay S.A.,
presented its outrageous offer to the family of the victim,
Simón Santana Farías, who died on September 3 when he
was trapped by the cooling machine he was cleaning.
According to the company, the sum offered was enough to
cover all unpaid wages and other labor benefits due, as well
as the damages and loss of income claimed by the family
after Simón’s tragic death.