WhiteWave Foods Company to be Acquired by Danone for $10.4 Billion
DENVER, CO – Notable international name Danone has announced that the French company has reached a deal to acquire WhiteWave Foods Co. for $10.4 billion.
“We found in WhiteWave the perfect alliance as we both believe in a healthier future and are conscious of our power to lead society forward,” said Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber in a statement, according to USA Today. “This unique combination positions us better to address tomorrow’s consumer trends."
WhiteWave Foods, which owns popular health-oriented brands such as Earthbound Farm, Silk, and Horizon Organic, will simultaneously double the size of Danone’s U.S. footprint while positioning the company as a global leader in consumer health-food brands.
The deal, expected to close later this year, will increase Danone’s North American business from 12 percent of its portfolio to 22 percent. The company stated that the deal will be entirely debt-financed and will boost earnings from the first year after closing.
"We are creating a truly global leader in line with lasting consumer trends for more healthier options," Faber stated in a call with analysts, according to Reuters.
Danone reportedly agreed to pay WhiteWave investors $56.25 a share, according to Bloomberg, which is 19 percent higher than WhiteWave’s closing price on Wednesday and 24 percent higher than the company’s average 30-day closing price.
This deal agreement is the first major transaction for Danone after Faber took over as Chief Executive for the company in 2014, and pledged to position the company for strong and sustainable growth.
WhiteWave has positioned the company and its brands as a leading contender in U.S. for tapping in on consumer-minded health food trends. Analysts quoted to Bloomberg that the company’s sales are expected to increase 11 percent this year, after doubling since 2010, with 86 percent of the company’s revenues coming from North America.
"Danone is a unique company with distinctive capabilities that will enable WhiteWave to reach its next phase of growth," said WhiteWave CEO Gregg Engles in a statement, according to USA Today. "Danone is a great cultural fit for our organization and I am excited for our employees."
Analysts have not discounted that investors could be expecting a higher bid for the fast-growing company as WhiteWave’s share rose to a record high of $56.82 and remained above Danone’s offer price, as reported by Reuters.
If the deal falls through, WhiteWave will reportedly have to pay Danone $310 million.
As more details are released on this acquisition, and the rising influence of the organic and health food markets, AndNowUKnow will continue to have the latest.