World Economy

French Dairy Giant Buying US Co. for $12.5b

French Dairy Giant Buying US Co. for $12.5bFrench Dairy Giant Buying US Co. for $12.5b

Danone SA, the French dairy giant whose yogurt brands are a common sight on supermarket shelves around the world, announced Thursday it is acquiring WhiteWave Foods Co., the Denver, Colorado, producer of organic foods and plant-based milks. The all-cash deal values the US company at $56.25 per share, for a total enterprise value of about $12.5 billion.

The deal “doubles the size of Danone’s US business” and will create “synergies of #300 million by 2020,” the French company said in a statement. The price offered for shares of WhiteWave Foods is a 24 % premium to the company’s 30-day average closing price, reported.

Emmanuel Faber, Danone CEO, said his company “found in WhiteWave the perfect alliance as we both believe in a healthier future and are conscious of our power to lead society forward.”

A combination of external factors, notable economic headwinds, have curbed Danone’s growth in recent years, notably in emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia, as well as in Europe. Acquiring WhiteWave Foods, a Denver, Colorado, organic food producer, would provide the Paris-based company an immediate boost in the lucrative US market that is increasingly turning to healthier food options.

The deal “further diversifies Danone’s portfolio and broadens its presence in North America. The transaction will create a leading US refrigerated dairy player, as well as one of the top 15 largest US Food and Beverage manufacturers. Following the closing of the transaction, Danone’s North America footprint would increase from 12 to 22 % of Danone’ total portfolio,” the statement said.