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LOS ANGELES, CA-An affiliate of Los Angeles-based Bentley Forbes has acquired the 200,000-sf manufacturing and distribution plant of Gruma Corp., the largest manufacturer of corn and flour tortillas in the United States.

The buyer, GCCA, LLC, paid just under $15 million and assumed an existing 10 year lease with nine years remaining. Bentley Forbes invested in the facility in part because it is in the food industry, which is an appealing investment for its stability, according to Chad Wehba, the company’s chief operating officer.

The property is eight miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It includes a recently completed, 50,000-sf concrete tilt-up expansion that was added to the original 150,000-sf building.The Gruma facility is in the City of Commerce industrial submarket, where the vacancy rate stood at 3.4% in the third quarter. It features dock-high loading and is rail-served.

Gruma manufactures and distributes corn flour under the Maseca brand name, and tortillas under the Mission and Guerrero brand names. Gruma Corp. commands a market share of approximately 87% and 25% in corn flour and tortillas respectively. The corporation’s year-end 2001 sales were $856 million, up 4% from the previous year.

BentleyForbes is a commercial real estate investment firm that is among the largest privately held companies in Los Angeles. It specializes in the sale- leaseback of single-tenant, income-producing properties. Its affiliates’ portfolios include office buildings, manufacturing and warehouse properties.

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