Lactalis Buying Stonyfield to Maintain Competition in Organic Dairy Market

July 3rd, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: When French dairy giant Danone proposed the acquisition of WhiteWave, Cornucopia campaigned for requiring Danone to sell its holdings in Stonyfield. We argued that farmers and consumers would be best served by more competition and less monopolization in the organic dairy market. Regulators listened and made the sale of Stonyfield a requirement, and now that is occurring.

Danone selling Stonyfield to Lactalis for $875M
USA Today
by Zlati Meyer

Yogurt giant Danone is selling its Stonyfield brand to Lactalis, a fellow French company, for $875 million, to satisfy U.S. antitrust concerns.

The purchase price represents 20 times Stonyfield’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization in 2016, Danone said in a Monday announcement.

Stonyfield, until now a a U.S. subsidiary of Danone, is an organic yogurt maker based in Londonderry, New Hampshire. It generated approximately $370 million in revenue in 2016, according to Danone.

The sale is part of a March 2017 agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice stemming from competition issues related to Danone’s $12.5 billion acquisition of the Denver-based organic food company WhiteWave, whose brands include Silk and Horizon Organic.

The divestiture is subject to final approval by the Department of Justice and is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of this year, Danone said.

Also in Danone’s portfolio are Activia and Oikos yogurt and Evian and Volvic water.

Lactalis is a privately-held dairy company founded in 1933. Its U.S. brands include President and Sorrento cheeses.


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