Danone buys WhiteWave, merger approved
13 April, 2017
The US Justice Department gave French food group Danone the approval to buy US organic food producer WhiteWave Foods. To win antitrust approval for the $10.4bn deal, Danone agreed to sell its leading US organic yoghurt business Stonyfield Farms, the department said. In July, the French company announced plans to buy WhiteWave in its largest acquisition since 2007, a move it said would double the size of its US business.
Danone's brands include Dannon, Evian, Bonafont and the medical nutrition brand Nutricia.
WhiteWave’s roster of brands includes Horizon Organic milk, Wallaby Organic yogurt, International Delight coffee creamer, Earthbound Farm organic salad and almond milk. The purchase of WhiteWave will help the French company to woo affluent consumers who buy WhiteWave's health food.
The US Justice Department said in its complaint that the deal could hurt both organic milk sellers and buyers in the northeastern US because WhiteWave and longtime Danone partner CROPP are the top purchasers of raw organic milk in the US. In addition to selling Stonyfield, Danone will also sever the strategic partnership with CROPP as a condition for buying WhiteWave.