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Danone completes acquisition of WhiteWave Foods

FBR Staff Writer Published 13 April 2017

French dairy giant Danone has completed the acquisition of US-based WhiteWave Foods for about $10bn.

Under the merger terms, shareholders of WhiteWave will be paid $56.25 per share in cash.

The acquisition comes only days after Danone had agreed with the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to divest one of its American dairy subsidiaries Stonyfield.

Danone and WhiteWave are now set to merge their operations in North America to operate as a single entity dubbed as DanoneWave which will be headed by Lorna Davis, its new CEO.

Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber said: “Danone and WhiteWave are a perfect match to build a global leader leveraging consumer trends and expectations for healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking choices.

“With leading positions in some of the fastest growing, health-focused categories, this combination will drive our Alimentation Revolution, our business performance, and will accelerate our 2020 growth journey.”

WhiteWave’s European subsidiary Alpro is expected to consolidate Danone Dairy’s new plant-based category handled by Gustavo Valle.

Following the close of the transaction, the common stock of WhiteWave has stopped trading and will be removed from the New York Stock Exchange listing.

It was in July last year that the French global dairy proposed to acquire the American consumer packaged food and beverage firm.

At the end of last year, the acquisition cleared a major hurdle after securing a conditional approval from the European Commission which asked Danone to offload a signification portion of its Belgian-based growing-up-milk business.

WhiteWave, which recorded earnings of $4bn in 2015, sells its products under different brands that include Silk, Vega, Alpro, So Delicious, Provamel, Wallaby Organic, Horizon Organic, International Delight, Earthbound Farm.

Image: A Fresh Dairy Danone plant in Russia. Photo: courtesy of Danone.