Yoplait Shareholders Will Announce Shortlist Soon
Yoplait shareholders PAI Partners and Sodiaal received “indicative” offers from nine companies for PAI’s stake and will announce a shortlist of bidders in the coming days.
The potential buyers for the 50 percent stake include French and foreign companies, financial investors and food companies, the owners said in a statement today.
Bright Dairy & Food Co. is among companies that made an offer, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be identified because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. The Shanghai-based company’s bid values Yoplait at 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion), said the person. Nestle SA, General Mills Inc. and Groupe Lactalis also submitted bids, Le Journal du Dimanche reported Feb. 6.
The Yoplait brand has a 6 percent share of the world yogurt market, which expanded 46 percent in the five years through 2010 to $65.2 billion, according to Euromonitor International. Danone, the maker of Activia and Actimel, is the world’s largest yogurt maker with 23 percent of the global market, according to Euromonitor. Yoplait also competes with Nestle and Lactalis, another French cooperative, which have a yogurt joint venture in Europe.
The buyer will share control over the Yoplait brand with Sodiaal, a French cooperative. Sodiaal will also remain a shareholder in the operational unit of Yoplait to guarantee that the company remains “anchored” in France, according to the statement.
PAI Partners and Sodiaal said Nov. 18 they rejected a 1.4 billion-euro bid from Lactalis for all of the yogurt maker, as Sodiaal wanted to keep its stake.
The brand dates back to 1964, when the cooperatives that formed Sodiaal combined the names of Yola and Coplait yogurt. Sodiaal in 1967 added fruit to Yoplait, and it was one of the first brands that sold its products in disposable packaging rather than in jars that could be returned, according to the company’s website.
- Michael Wei in Beijing. Editors: Celeste Perri, Jeff St. Onge.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at email@example.com.
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