General Mills Takes Control of Yoplait For €810 Million

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General Mills Takes Control of Yoplait For €810 Million

General Mills Takes Control of Yoplait For €810 Million
May 19
15:33 2011

US-based food group General Mills has signed definitive agreements with European private equity firm PAI partners and Sodiaal to acquire a 51% controlling interest in Yoplait S.A.S. and a 50% interest in a related entity that holds the worldwide Yoplait brands for approximately €810m. Sodiaal, the leading French dairy cooperative, 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 approximately $65b. Yoplait products are available in more than 70 countries around the world. The company has direct operations in countries including France, the UK and Canada, and also manages a network of 26 franchisees that license Yoplait brands.

Yoplait employs approximately 1,900 people and reported revenues of Eur724m for its fiscal year ended June 30th, 2010. In December 2010, Yoplait acquired the Liberte yogurt business in Canada. Liberte reported sales of C$186m for its fiscal year ended December 31st 2010.

The business will be governed by a supervisory board with representation from General Mills and Sodiaal. General Mills currently expects the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, to close during the first quarter of its 2012 fiscal year, which will begin on May 30, 2011.

General Mills and Sodiaal intend to work together to support accelerated growth of Yoplait worldwide. The global yogurt market is one of the most attractive food categories in the world. Consumer demand is growing in response to increased interest in foods that emphasise nutrition, convenience, flavor variety and value. In addition, per capita consumption levels for yogurt are still quite low in many international markets.

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.

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