Canada Bread shareholders approve $1.83-billion Grupo Bimbo takeover

TORONTO – Canada Bread Company Ltd. (CBY:TSX) says its shareholders have approved a takeover of the company by Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo.

The breadmaker said shareholders holding approximately 99.98 per cent of the company’s common shares voted in favour of the $1.83-billion deal at a special meeting Thursday.

The proposed acquisition, which was struck in February, has already received the green light from the U.S. Justice Department and the Canadian Competition Bureau.

The deal is now expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, subject to other conditions.

Grupo Bimbo, one of the world’s largest bread companies, also has the support of Maple Leaf Foods (TSX:MFI), which owns a 90 per cent stake in Canada Bread, maker of popular brands such as Dempsters and Bon Matin.

Maple Leaf Foods is in the midst selling a number of assets as part of a restructuring plan to improve the profits of its overall business, which is primarily focused on meat products. The bakery deal followed the sale of Maple Leaf’s Rothsay rendering business, which handles edible and inedible animal by-products, to Texas-based Darling International.