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China’s Yili plans $850m bid for Danone’s Stonyfield yogurt business

FBR Staff Writer Published 15 May 2017

Chinese dairy firm Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group is preparing an $850m bid to acquire US organic yogurt business, Stonyfield, from Danone.

In a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange, Yili Group mentioned that the bid for 100% of the shares in Stonyfield was in a preparatory stage, as reported by Financial Times.

A few weeks back, Yili had to give up its plans of acquiring a 37% stake in China Shengmu Organic Milk for $679m. This was after it failed to secure regulatory approval on the grounds that the deal had raised anti-competition concerns in the region.

Yili, which made net sales revenue of $9.3bn in 2015, is considered to be among the largest dairy groups in China.

Its new target, Stonyfield had been put up for sale by the French dairy giant Danone last month in order to get approval for its $10bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods. Danone had completed the acquisition of the US-based soy milk company WhiteWave Foods soon after that in the second week of April.

The French dairy producer had previously agreed in principle with the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to divest Stonyfield, within months after the completion of WhiteWave acquisition.

Headquartered in Londonderry, New Hampshire, the Danone subsidiary Stonyfield produces organic and Greek-style yogurt among other dairy products.

In February, the New Hampshire-based Stonyfield announced its decision to cut added sugar across its yogurt portfolio. The organic yogurt maker said that it had devised a formula that brings down tartness while balancing the sweetness of yogurt, resulting in sugar reduction without compromising taste.


Image: Stonyfield Farm is an organic yogurt maker located in Londonderry, New Hampshire, USA. Photo: courtesy of Mark Warner/Wikipedia.org.