Bloomberg News

Mexico’s Jugos del Valle Seeks to Buy Dairy Maker Santa Clara

July 04, 2012

Jugos del Valle SAPI, a juicemaker partly owned by Coca-Cola Co. (KO:US), plans to acquire dairy company Santa Clara Mercantil de Pachuca SA, according to a filing with Mexico’s antitrust regulator.

The board of the Federal Competition Commission will meet July 5 to review the transaction, according to the filing on the agency’s website. Jugos del Valle’s part owners also include Coca-Cola Femsa SAB (KOFL), the largest Coke bottler in Latin America, and other Coke bottlers.

“We recently reached an agreement with the Santa Clara company to carry out an operation together,” Mexico City-based Jugos del Valle said in a statement yesterday when contacted about the nature of the transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jugos del Valle said it is unable to release information or comment on the transaction while regulatory approval is pending, according to an e-mailed statement. Calls seeking comment from Alejandro Malagon, Chief Executive Officer of Jugos del Valle, were not returned.

The purchase of closely-held Santa Clara, based in Pachuca, Mexico, would add milk, ice cream and yogurt to the fruit juices that Jugos del Valle has sold since its founding in 1947. A deal could also add to the product line of Oxxo, Latin America’s largest convenience store chain. Oxxo is owned by Monterrey, Mexico-based Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB (FEMSAUBD), which holds a controlling stake in Coca-Cola Femsa.

Santa Clara, founded in the central Mexican city of Pachuca in 1924, has 160 ice cream parlors across the country, according to the company’s website.

Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Femsa bought Jugos del Valle in 2007. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola sold the juicemaker’s U.S. operations, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by Mexico City-based Coca-Cola Femsa. In 2008, Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Femsa entered into a joint business with Mexican and Brazilian Coke bottlers for the juicemaker’s operations in the two Latin American countries.

Calls made to Santa Clara’s headquarters seeking comment were not returned.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brendan Case in Mexico City at bcase4@bloomberg.net; Jose Enrique Arrioja in Mexico City at jarrioja@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jose Enrique Arrioja at jarrioja@bloomberg.net


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