* Company waits on closing of Sara Lee deal
* Had purchased Canada Weston’s U.S. unit in 2008
MEXICO CITY, April 28 (Reuters) - Mexican breadmaker Bimbo BIMBOA.MX on Thursday stood by its plan to invest $1 billion in its U.S. operations over the next five years.
The company, which is waiting on the closing of its $925 million acquisition bid for Sara Lee Corp’s SLE.N North American fresh bakery unit, could spend at a rate of $200 million annually, according to Armando Giner, head of Bimbo’s investor relations.
Speaking at a press event, Giner said that while the exchange rate and price of wheat are denting U.S. profits, it is not expected to affect the cost of the Sara Lee deal, which the company has financed in dollar debt.
The purchase is expected to close mid-year.
Bimbo in 2008 bought the U.S. breadmaking unit of Canada’s George Weston Ltd WN.TO for $2.38 billion, strengthening its presence in the coveted U.S. market.
Bimbo shares slipped 0.35 percent to 25.36 pesos at noon in local trading. (Reporting by Elinor Comlay, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)