Danone, France, reached a major step toward the closing of the WhiteWave acquisition that was first announced in July 2016.
In order to facilitate the prompt closing of the WhiteWave acquisition, Danone will sell one of its U.S. dairy subsidiaries, Stonyfield, Londonderry, N.H., in the months following the closing of the acquisition. While Stonyfield has been a valued part of Danone’s portfolio and remains a highly attractive asset, its divestiture does not impact the strategic rationale or financial benefits of the WhiteWave acquisition. Stonyfield generated approximately $370 million in turnover in 2016.
“As part of the agreement in principle with the DOJ, we made the strategic decision to divest Stonyfield, as it allows us to take a major step toward completing the WhiteWave transaction expeditiously,” says Emmanuel Faber, chief executive officer of Danone. “This is a good outcome, as it addresses the DOJ’s concerns and enables Danone to shortly begin to capture the benefits of the combination and the value creation announced last July.”
Through the WhiteWave transaction, Danone will strengthen and expand its position in resilient growth markets. Danone will notably double the size of its North America business to more than $6 billion in turnover, allowing the company to become a Top 15 food and beverage processor in the United States and the No. 1 in refrigerated dairy (excluding cheese) in this key strategic geography. The transaction also offers the potential to broaden Danone’s reach across geographies through new high-growth categories in the future.