WhiteWave Foods Acquires Plant-Based Dairy Processor
WhiteWave Foods Co., Denver, Colo., agreed to acquire So Delicious Dairy Free from its existing shareholders, led by Wasserstein & Co., for approximately $195 million in cash.
The Eugene, Ore.-based processor of plant-based beverages, creamers, cultured products and frozen desserts under the So Delicious brand was founded in 1987 by Mark Brawerman, who was CEO until 2013. So Delicious reported sales of $115 million for the 12 months ended June 30, and is expected to experience continued growth in the second half of 2014.
“The acquisition of So Delicious represents a great addition to the WhiteWave portfolio and fits squarely within our strategy of driving growth in our core businesses,” says Gregg Engles, chairman and CEO of WhiteWave. “So Delicious is an outstanding company and a unique player in the plant-based food and beverage arena, with consumers seeking out the brand for a broad range of great-tasting, dairy-free beverages, creamers and cultured products. So Delicious is also recognized as the No. 1 plant-based frozen dessert brand in the United States, and will provide WhiteWave entry into the growing, plant-based frozen dessert category.”
“At the same time, So Delicious will provide additional growth opportunities in the dynamic plant-based food and beverage space,” adds Engles. “It builds on our platform of Silk and Alpro branded products by expanding plant-based capabilities and providing new category opportunities. Furthermore, in addition to compelling growth and product expansion potential, the extension of the So Delicious business across WhiteWave’s existing business platform, capabilities and infrastructure is also expected to provide significant cost-savings opportunities. Simply stated, we believe this is a compelling acquisition that will add a highly complementary brand to WhiteWave’s product portfolio and position us to drive additional shareholder value.”
"Joining the WhiteWave organization will enable us to continue to build on our commitment to bringing dairy-free joy to even more households," says Chuck Marcy, chief executive officer of So Delicious Dairy Free. "For over 25 years, So Delicious has been dedicated to making delicious and responsible, 100% plant-based, non-GMO foods and beverages. WhiteWave shares our passion for uncompromising commitment to non-GMO integrity, environmental stewardship and sustainability. This combination will give us an opportunity to grow our portfolio of dairy-free solutions, and introduce the benefits of dairy-free living to more families.”
The deal is expected to close in the next few months, subject to customary closing conditions.