US

Mexican bakery magnate Lorenzo Servitje dies at 98

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2005 file photo, Lorenzo Servitje, founder of international snack and baked-goods empire Grupo Bimbo, gives an interview in Mexico City, Mexico. Servitje has died at the age of 98, according to the head of Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Servitje was born in Mexico on Nov. 20, 1918, the son of a Spanish immigrant who started a bakery. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2005 file photo, Lorenzo Servitje, founder of international snack and baked-goods empire Grupo Bimbo, gives an interview in Mexico City, Mexico. Servitje has died at the age of 98, according to the head of Mexico‚Äôs Business Coordinating Council on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Servitje was born in Mexico on Nov. 20, 1918, the son of a Spanish immigrant who started a bakery. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)  (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.

The head of Mexico's Business Coordinating Council said Friday that Servitje had died, but did not state a cause of death.

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 started Grupo Bimbo in 1945 with other partners. The company now operates in 22 countries, with 100 brands and 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.