CHICAGO — Mondelez International announced it has reached an agreement to acquire the Ricolino confectionery business from Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV for approximately $1.3 billion. Headquartered in Mexico City, Ricolino’s products include candy bars, truffles, panned chocolates, caramel, lollipops, marshmallows, hard and chewy candies, nougats and gum sold under such brands as Ricolino, Vero, La Corona and Coronado. Ricolino operates four manufacturing facilities and has nearly 6,000 employees with approximately $500 million in annual sales.

Mondelez said the acquisition will double the size of its business in Mexico and provide an attractive entry point into the chocolate category, while expanding the company’s presence in snacking.

“This acquisition will provide a step change for our business in Mexico, an important growth market for us, more than tripling our routes to market and growing our position in core snacking categories,” said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and chief executive officer of Mondelez. “We are thrilled to welcome Ricolino’s talented people and amazing brands into the Mondelez International family.”

Many of Ricolino’s chocolate and candy brands have more than 50 years’ history in Mexico. The company has more than 2,100 direct-store delivery routes that reach 440,000 traditional trade outlets, providing significant scale and broad brand availability, Mondelez said.

For Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo, the sale of the confectionery business will allow the company to focus on growing its baked foods and snacks businesses.

“We ventured into the confectionery industry with the establishment of Ricolino in 1970; today, after 52 years of growth and progress, it is the industry leader in Mexico,” said Daniel Servitje, chairman and CEO of Grupo Bimbo. “We truly recognize the Ricolino family for this amazing accomplishment and are deeply thankful for their commitment and hard work. I’m confident that Mondelez International will leverage these amazing brands to a much higher position.”

The acquisition of Ricolino continues Mondelez’s strategy of acquiring fast-growing snacking segments in key geographies. Earlier this year Mondelez acquired Chipita SA, a leader in the Central and Eastern European snack-size cakes and pastries category. In 2021, Mondelez acquired Grenade, a UK performance nutrition company; Gourmet Food Holdings, an Australian food company in the premium biscuit and cracker category; and Hu, a well-being snacking company in the United States.

The transaction is expected to close late in the third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2022.