DANONE is to buy US organic and dairy replacement food company WhiteWave for US$12.5bn, including debt and other liabilities.
WhiteWave makes a variety of products including premium organic dairy and pre-packed salads and plant-based alternatives to dairy products including soya milk, yoghurts and coffee creamers. Its brands include Horizon Organic, Silk, Earthbound Farm and Alpro. It became a public company in 2012 and in 2015 generated US$4bn in sales.
The all-cash transaction has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors, and will see Danone pay US$56.25/share. This represents a 24% premium on WhiteWave’s average closing share price over the previous 30 days.
Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber said that the acquisition will help Danone address changing consumer trends and give the company a “broader platform” in North America.
“We believe we have a special responsibility, as expressed in our manifesto, to help and support people in adopting healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices and constantly evolve our portfolio of brands and products to achieve this objective. To that extent, we found in WhiteWave the perfect alliance as we both believe in a healthier future and are conscious of our power to lead society forward,” said Faber.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
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