France’s Danone has closed a deal to buy Denver-based WhiteWave Foods, which has health-oriented brands like Silk, Horizon Organic and Earthbound Farm.
With a portfolio heavy on dairy alternatives and organic foods, WhiteWave’s portfolio will help Danone get a better grip on American tastes that are increasingly moving toward healthier foods
Danone will pay $56.25 a share, a 24% premium over WhiteWave’s 30-day average closing price of $45.43, the companies said. That would value WhiteWaveÂ at $10.1 billion based on 180.2 million shares outstanding at the end of last year.
WhiteWave reported net income of $168 million last year on sales of about $3.9 billion.
â€śWe found in WhiteWave the perfect alliance as we both believe in a healthier future and are conscious of our power to lead society forward,â€ťÂ said Danone CEOEmmanuel Faber in a statement. â€śThis unique combination positions us better to address tomorrowâ€™s consumer trends.”
Danone says organic foods and beverages and non-GMO plant-based alternatives to milk and yogurt are among the fastest growing categories in the supermarket. It also hailed WhiteWave as one of the country’s fastest-growing food and beverage companies, as well as in Europe.
WhiteWave CEO Gregg Engles said the deal will be good for his company’s shareholders and represents a smart merger. He will join Danone’s board.
“Danone is a unique company with distinctive capabilities that will enable WhiteWave to reach its next phase of growth,” said Engles in a statement. “Danone is a great cultural fit for our organization and I am excited for our employees.”