General Mills agrees
to acquire Yoplait share
May 24, 2011 10:03 AM
General Mills (NYSE: GIS) has signed definitive agreements with PAI partners and Sodiaal to acquire a 51% controlling interest in Yoplait SAS and a 50% interest in a related entity that holds the worldwide Yoplait brands for approximately 810 million euros.
French dairy cooperative Sodiaal will hold the remaining ownership stakes in both entities. Headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Yoplait is the second-largest brand in the global yogurt market, a category with 2010 retail sales totaling about US $65 billion. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval. General Mills expects the transaction to close during the first quarter of its 2012 fiscal year, which begins May 30, 2011.
Yoplait products are available in more than 70 nations. The company has direct operations in countries including France, the United Kingdom, and Canada and also manages a network of 26 franchisees that license Yoplait brands. Yoplait employs roughly 1,900 people and reported revenues of 724 million euros for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2010.
The business will be governed by a supervisory board with representation from General Mills and Sodiaal. Chris O’Leary, executive vice-president and chief operating officer–international, will have management oversight responsibility for the business at General Mills.
General Mills and Yoplait have agreed that, upon closing of this transaction, the parties will formally withdraw from the current arbitration pertaining to the US Yoplait license. General Mills will continue to market Yoplait yogurt in the United States under the license agreement.
Headquartered in Paris, France, Sodiaal accounts for 22% of France’s milk collection and produces liquid milk, cheese, fresh dairy products, butter, milk powder, and dairy ingredients. Its consumer brands include Yoplait, Candia, Entremont, Le Rustique, Coeur de Lion, and Regilait.
Minneapolis MN-based General Mills operates in more than 100 nations. Its consumer brands include Haagen-Dazs, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Betty Crocker, Nature Valley, and Old El Paso.
Barclays Capital and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are serving as advisors to General Mills on this transaction.
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