France-based Danone S.A. announced plans to acquire WhiteWave Foods Co., Broomfield, Colo.

WhiteWave generated $4 billion in sales in 2015, and maintains a portfolio of large and leading branded platforms of premium organic dairy, non-GMO, plant-based alternatives to milk and yogurt, as well as fresh foods and coffee creamers in the North American and European markets.  

Together, WhiteWave and Danone will create a truly unique global leader committed to addressing tomorrow’s consumer trends by providing healthy and sustainable eating and drinking options.

“At Danone, we constantly seek to align our vision of the world, our mission and our businesses. 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,” says Emmanuel Faber, chief executive officer of Danone. “This unique combination positions us better to address tomorrow’s consumer trends, and represents a great opportunity to step change the ambition of our plan for an Alimentation revolution and to accelerate our path toward strong sustainable and profitable growth by 2020. It will allow us to enhance Danone’s growth profile and reinforce our resilience through a broader platform in North America. We are convinced that combining with WhiteWave will create significant value for all of our stakeholders.”

“I believe this acquisition advances Danone’s mission and rich history of being at the forefront of emerging consumer trends and commitment to creating economic and social value,” adds Franck Riboud, Danone chairman.

As a result of the acquisition, Gregg Engles, WhiteWave chairman and CEO, will be named a member of the board.

“Today’s announcement is an exciting next chapter for WhiteWave, bringing together two leading companies with a shared mission of changing the way the world eats for the better,” adds Engles. “We believe this is a compelling transaction that delivers significant cash value to our shareholders. Danone is a unique company with distinctive capabilities that will enable

WhiteWave to reach its next phase of growth. Danone is a great cultural fit for our organization, and I am excited for our employees to benefit from the opportunities presented by joining Danone, a leading global food company and the ideal strategic partner to support our future. I am pleased to be joining Danone’s board to assist with the exciting and unique journey combining our two companies.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.