Danone seals the deal with WhiteWave

by Monica Watrous
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WhiteWave brands
WhiteWave Foods owns such brands as Silk, So Delicious and Earthbound Farm.

PARIS — Danone S.A. has completed its $12.5 billion acquisition of The WhiteWave Foods Co., a deal first announced in July 2016. Under terms of the agreement, WhiteWave shareholders will receive $56.25 per share in cash. WhiteWave common stock has ceased trading and will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

The combination of Danone and WhiteWave in North America will operate as a strategic business unit named DanoneWave and will include the current North American businesses of Danone Dairy and WhiteWave under the leadership of Lorna Davis, chief executive officer of the combined entity. WhiteWave’s European brand Alpro will become part of a newly created plant-based business unit within Danone.

Emmanuel Faber, Dannon, Danone
Emmanuel Faber, c.e.o. of Danone

“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,” said Emmanuel Faber, c.e.o. of Danone. “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.

“I am convinced that the combined experience and capabilities of our new management team and the extensive preparation work done by the integration team since July will capture the great business opportunities ahead and fully deliver our synergy plan. I am therefore fully confident that we will drive strong value creation and deliver the attractive financial benefits we outlined last July. We now look forward to welcoming our talented new team members from WhiteWave.”

The transaction was subject to several regulatory hurdles over the past year. Most recently, Danone said it would to sell its Stonyfield organic yogurt business in the coming months as part of an agreement in principle with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Based in Denver, WhiteWave Foods is an international competitor in the plant-based, organic dairy and organic produce categories. The company owns such brands as Silk, So Delicious, Horizon Organic, Earthbound Farm and Alpro and generated sales of nearly $4.2 billion in 2016. 
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