FEMSA Acquires North American and WAXIE

March 10, 2020

Cleary Gottlieb represented Fomento Económico Mexicano S.A.B. de C.V. (FEMSA) in its entry into definitive agreements with the shareholders of North American Corp. (North American) and WAXIE Sanitary Supply (WAXIE) to form a new platform within the Jan-San, Packaging and Specialized distribution industry in the United States.

The platform will bring together two market leaders in this field: WAXIE and North American, with FEMSA acquiring a majority controlling interest in the combined company. Current shareholders of WAXIE and North American will remain investors. Each company will maintain their current management teams, with Charles Wax of WAXIE and John Miller of North American, members of the founding families of their respective companies, and current CEOs, now serving as co-CEOs of the new enterprise. FEMSA’s investment in the venture is $900 million.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the first half of 2020.

FEMSA (NYSE: FMX; BMV: FEMSAUBD) is a leading Mexican company that participates in the beverage industry through Coca-Cola FEMSA, the largest franchise bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world; in the retail industry through FEMSA Comercio, operating OXXO, the largest, and fastest-growing chain of small-format stores in Latin America; and in the beer industry, as a shareholder of Heineken, one of the world’s leading brewers with operations in more than 70 countries.

WAXIE and North American are leading U.S. distributors of consumables in the janitorial, sanitary supply, and packaging industry, with complementary market footprints and combined annual revenues of more than $900 million. Together they will have significant scale, operating a network of 26 distribution centers across the country and serving more than 27,000 customers in various industries such as building service contractors, education, government, retail, and hospitality.

For more information, see the press release here.