The French dairy giant Danone said today it will buy U.S.-based WhiteWave, a manufacturer of organic foods, plant-based milks and related products for $10.4 billion. The deal, which is expected to close by year’s end, doubles the size of Danone’s U.S. business, which includes yogurt maker Dannon, based in White Plains, N.Y.
In a webinar today from Paris, CEO Emmanuel Faber called the deal “a perfect match of vision, culture and businesses.”
Based in Boulder, Colo, WhiteWave is a global company, with sales and operations in North America, Europe and through a joint venture in China.. Its products focus on organic dairy, non-GMO, plant-based alternatives to milk and yogurt, fresh foods and coffee creamers.
Its brands include Silk, So Delicious, Vega, Alpro, Provamel, Horizon Organic, Wallaby Organic, Earthbound Farm and International Delight. Since becoming a public company in 2012, WhiteWave sales have increased at a 19% compound annual growth rate through 2015, and WhiteWave has doubled its operating income during this period. In 2014, it introduced, then later withdrew, a milk-based yogurt called Yulu.
Danone is present in over 130 markets. It generated sales of €22.4 billion in 2015, with more than half in emerging countries. The United States accounted for 11% of the company’s sales in 2015 and France 10%. Danone’s brand portfolio includes both international brands (Activia, Actimel, Danette, Danonino, Danio, evian, Volvic, Nutrilon/Aptamil, Nutricia) and local brands (Oikos, Prostokvashino, Aqua, Bonafont, Mizone, Blédina, Cow & Gate).
Danone intends to appoint WhiteWave Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregg Engles to its board of directors.
For more about Danone and WhiteWave
- Listen to a webcast from Paris with Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber and WhiteWave CEO Gregg Engles
- Slides from Danone's presentation
- Review WhiteWave’s 2015 10-K filing
- Review Danone’s annual report
The headline and article were updated to correct the purchase price.