Danone buying WhiteWave in $12.5 B deal

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 7, 2016 - France-based Danone has agreed to buy WhiteWave Foods and its health-based brands like Silk and Horizon Organic in a deal valued at about $12.5 billion.

In a statement, the two companies said Danone will pay $56.25 a share, a 24 percent premium over WhiteWave's 30-day average closing price of $45.43. That would value WhiteWave at $10.1 billion based on 180.2 million shares outstanding at the end of last year. The transaction, which also includes debt and certain other WhiteWave liabilities, is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to the approval of WhiteWave's shareholders and regulatory approvals.

Together we can feed the Bees"

Danone Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber said the deal will allow his company to enhance its growth profile “through a broader platform in North America,” adding, “We are convinced that combining with WhiteWave will create significant value for all of our stakeholders.”  

Greg Engles, CEO and chairman of Denver-based WhiteWave, said the deal will “bring together two leading companies with a shared mission of changing the way the world eats for the better.”

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WhiteWave reported net income of $168 million last year on sales of about $3.9 billion. Brands distributed in North America include Silk, So Delicious and Vega plant-based foods and beverages, LAND O LAKES coffee creamers and beverages, and Horizon Organic and Earthbound Farm organic salads and vegetables. Its plant-based foods and beverages brands in Europe include Alpro and Provamel.

Danone said the transaction further diversifies its portfolio and broadens its presence in North America, creating “a leading U.S. refrigerated dairy player, as well as one of the top 15 largest U.S. food and beverage manufacturers.” When the deal closes, Danone said its North America footprint would increase from 12 percent to 22 percent of Danone's total portfolio. 

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