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SoftBank executive sees major Mexican consumer companies as potential partners

FILE PHOTO: A man talks on the phone as he stood in front of an advertising poster for the SoftBank telecom company in Tokyo October 16, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Photo File

MEXICO CITY (reuters) – An executive in Japan, SoftBank Group said on Tuesday that the technology conglomerate is open to work with large Mexican consumer companies, such as retailer Femsa, and the bread-maker Bimbo, together with start-up businesses in the country.

SoftBank announced in March that it would launch the $5 billion Innovation Fund dedicated to Latin America, with emphasis on financial technology, e-commerce, healthcare and mobility.

Shu Nyatta, a fund of the partner who is headquartered in Silicon Valley and Miami, said at a conference in Mexico City that SoftBank wants to support companies that have better access to consumers for a variety of services. Entrenched players have something to bring to the table, ” he said.

“The bimbo’s and Femsas of the world have this opportunity, to their distribution, relationships, benefits, add some technology, through partnerships or in-house, and the transformation of their activities,” he said.

“We are not biased against these incumbents with advantages. We are happy to partner where it makes sense. But it has the correct progressive thinking, the right technology,” he said.

Nyatta highlighted the Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza as an example of a long-established consumer company that uses technology to reinvent itself.

Bimbo, one of the world’s largest bread producers, has an extensive distribution network in Mexico, which covers the markets and corner shops, even in the remote corners of the country.

Femsa’s footprint in Mexico covers almost 18,000 Oxxo stores. Shoppers can pay in cash for a variety of online traders and financial services. The retailer has also entered into a collaboration with Amazon.com Inc. to let shoppers pay for purchases in cash and pick-up packages in the stores.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; editing by Julia Love and Leslie Adler

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