Danone buying WhiteWave Foods in $10.1 billion deal

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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 WhiteWave聽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.

鈥淲e found in WhiteWave the perfect alliance as we both believe in a healthier future and are conscious of our power to lead society forward,鈥澛爏aid Danone CEOEmmanuel Faber in a statement. 鈥淭his unique combination positions us better to address tomorrow鈥檚 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.”

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