MEXICO CITY — Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc., a business unit of Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., has acquired the Lender’s Bagels business from Conagra Brands, Inc., Chicago. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of fiscal 2020.
The acquisition includes the Lender’s brand and a baking plant in Mattoon, Ill. Conagra Brands acquired the Lender’s Bagels business as part of its $10.9 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Foods, Inc. in 2018.
Lender’s Bagels history dates back to 1927, when Harry Lender started the New York Bagel Bakery in the family garage in New Haven, Conn. As the business grew into the late 1950s, Harry’s sons, Murray and Marvin, began to freeze the bakery’s bagels to keep up with consumer demand, defrosting them for higher-volume weekend sales. This technique proved to be the catalyst for much of the future success for the company and the product.
The Lender brothers took ownership of New York Bagel Bakery in 1960. In 1965, they changed the name to Lender’s Bagels and built their first industrial facility. Originally 6,000 square feet, the plant doubled in size within the first year under the brothers’ leadership. Growth continued and additional facilities opened over the following 20 years.
Lender’s Bagels was sold to Kraft Foods in 1985, allowing Marvin and Murray Lender to spend more time on community development and non-profit work. In 1996, Kellogg acquired Lender’s from Kraft for $455 million, but sold the business after only three years to Aurora Foods for $275 million. Four years later, Aurora sold Lender’s to Pinnacle Foods.
Lender’s new owner, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Horsham, Pa., also owns and operates the Thomas’ grain-based foods business, which includes bagels in its product portfolio.