Danone acquire Whitewave

Danone acquire Whitewave

Just a week after announcing the acquisition of the French company Michel & Augustin, Danone have made another major move by acquiring WhiteWave, a US agribusiness giant.

 

The transaction was completed at $56.25 per share, or about $12.5 billion in total, and it should allow the French giant to double the size of its business in the US as well as strengthening its leading position on the global food market. Danone have declared their intention to deliver “strong, sustainable and profitable growth by 2020”, and this acquisition is a first step towards the acceleration of its plan.

 

WhiteWave recorded $4 billion in revenue in 2015, and specialises in organic dairy products, soy milk and yogurts and dairy alternatives among others. The company went public in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength since, with an annual growth of nearly 19% on average.

 

Emmanuel Faber, Danone CEO, emphasized the strategic value of the acquisition, saying:

 

“This acquisition will better allow us to respond to new consumer trends and represents a major step in Danone’s commitment to conduct a Food Revolution. We will also accelerate our march towards strong, sustainable and profitable growth by 2020 and strengthen our resilience by strengthening our presence in North America. I am convinced that the rapprochement with WhiteWave will create value for all our stakeholders.”

 

On behalf of Whitewave, Gregg Engles, Chairman of the Board and CEO of WhiteWave, stressed the proximity of the two companies even before their merger, stating:

 

“The announcement of this agreement opens a new chapter for WhiteWave, bringing together two leading companies with a shared mission: to improve the eating habits worldwide. This operation creates value for our shareholders. Danone has unique strengths to enable us to reach our next phase of development. Danone culture perfectly matches ours and our employees will benefit from career opportunities by joining Danone, a leading food company in the international arena and the ideal strategic partner to support our ambition.”

Following the acquisition, Gregg Engles will be appointed to the board of Danone. For the French manufacturer, the acquisition will greatly strengthen its sales in North America, which are expected to represent 22% of the group’s turnover compared to 12% today. The acquisition also confirms Danone’s position as a world leader in organic dairy products.