The agreement in principle with the Justice Department – which had concerns about concentration in the dairy sector after the WhiteWave deal – could speed closing of that transaction, Danone said. By Madeline Patrick.
This is a major step for WhiteWave and this move is expected to permit closing to occur shortly after, allowing the company to proceed at the soonest with the integration and reap the full benefits of the announced synergies. To speed things along, it announced today it’s agreed to dump Stonyfield – which started in 1983 and did about $370 million in revenue previous year – in order to throw the Justice Department’s antitrust division a bone and (it assumes) fast-track the WhiteWave deal.
The decision to sell Stonyfield stemmed from an agreement in principle reached with the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust department, Danone said in a statement.
Solid EPS accretion from 2017 and above 10% based on run-rate synergies.
Danone, seller of Dannon yogurt and Evian water, announced it was buying WhiteWave in July. The combination will allow us to develop a world-leading dairy and plant-based food and beverage portfolio, with a full spectrum of better-for-you offerings, including protein-rich, organic, non-GMO and nutrient-dense choices.
France’s Danone SA said it has agreed to divest the US business to clear the biggest antitrust hurdle in its proposed $10.4-billion purchase of Denver-based WhiteWave Foods.
Faber said Danone is committed to finding the right partner to support Stonyfield’s growth journey in the future.
In August 2016 The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, formally challenged the acquisition based on forecasting the serious erosion of competition it would have created in the consumer marketplace and the negative economic impact it would have on US organic dairy farmers.
The purchase of WhiteWave doubles Danone’s North American business to more than $6 billion in turnover. The business, which produces a range of organic yogurts – as well as smoothies, frozen yogurts and packaged milks – generated turnover in 2016 of approximately $370 million. Danone’s brand portfolio includes both worldwide brands (Activia, Actimel, Danette, Danonino, Danio, evian, Volvic, Nutrilon/Aptamil, Nutricia) and local brands (Oikos, Prostokvashino, Aqua, Bonafont, Mizone, Blédina, Cow & Gate).