Lorenzo Servitje dies at age 98

Mex­i­can bak­ery mag­nate

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM/NEWS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mex­i­can bak­ery mag­nate Lorenzo Servitje has died at the age of 98 af­ter build­ing his Grupo Bimbo into an in­ter­na­tional snack and baked-goods em­pire that ac­quired brands like En­ten­mann’s, Thomas’, Frei­hofer’s and Stroehmann.

Grupo Bimbo said Servitje died Fri­day in Mex­ico City, but did not men­tion the cause of death.

The head of Mex­ico’s Busi­ness Co­or­di­nat­ing Coun­cil, Juan Pablo Cas­tanon, called his death “a great loss for Mex­ico.”

Servitje was born in Mex­ico on Nov. 20, 1918, the son of a Span­ish im­mi­grant who started a bak­ery.

Servitje launched Grupo Bimbo in 1945 with other part­ners, start­ing with 38 em­ploy­ees and 10 de­liv­ery ve­hi­cles.

The com­pany now op­er­ates in 22 coun­tries, with 100 brands and it recorded over $10.7 bil­lion in sales in 2015.

Start­ing with bread, the com­pany branched into snacks, tor­tillas and other bak­ery prod­ucts. The com­pany is known for its mas­cot, a small white bear.

Bimbo ex­panded strongly into the United Sates, pur­chas­ing Mrs. Baird’s Bak­eries in Texas in 1998. Bimbo Bak­eries USA ac­quired the western U.S. bak­ing busi­ness of Ge­orge Weston Ltd., adding brands like Oroweat, En­ten­mann’s, Thomas’ and Boboli.

In 2009, Grupo Bimbo pur­chased the re­main­ing U.S. fresh baked goods busi­ness of Ge­orge Weston Ltd., ac­quir­ing brands like Arnold, Brown­berry, Frei­hofer’s and Stroehmann.

Servitje was pre­ceded in death by his wife, Car­men Mon­tull. The cou­ple had eight chil­dren, 24 grand­chil­dren and 48 great-grand­chil­dren.

Servitje was known for his re­flec­tions on the eth­i­cal role of Mex­ico’s busi­ness com­mu­nity, and he wrote both books and ar­ti­cles.

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