General Mills to sell European Yoplait operations to Sodiaal

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The proposed transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021.
The proposed transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021.

Related tags: Yoghurt, Yogurt, Yoplait, General mills

Global food company General Mills has entered into a memorandum of understanding to sell its 51% controlling interest in Yoplait S.A.S. to French cooperative Sodiaal in exchange for full ownership of the Canadian Yoplait business and a reduced royalty rate for use of the Yoplait and Liberté brands in the US and Canada.

Following completion of the transaction, Yoplait S.A.S. would operate yogurt businesses in France, the UK, and other markets, and manage a network of 28 franchisees manufacturing and distributing Yoplait branded products in more than 40 countries around the world.

Net sales for the Yoplait S.A.S business that would be wholly owned by Sodiaal totaled $740m in fiscal 2020. Under the terms of the transaction, General Mills would acquire Sodiaal’s 49% ownership interest in Yoplait Canada Holding Co., making the Yoplait Canada yogurt business, which generated $290m in net sales in fiscal 2020, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Mills.

Following completion of the transaction, General Mills would wholly own yogurt operations in the US and Canada that generated a combined $1.4bn in net sales in fiscal 2020 and would distribute Yoplait and Liberté branded products in the US and Canada on a royalty-free basis.

“With today’s announcement, we’re taking another step toward advancing our Accelerate strategy and further reshaping our portfolio to drive profitable growth for the long term,”​ said General Mills chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Harmening.

“This transaction improves our growth profile, enhances our margins, and creates value for our shareholders. Additionally, it increases our focus on the brand platforms that have the greatest growth potential.”

Dana McNabb, group president of General Mills’ Europe & Australia segment said, “This transaction allows us to accelerate our Europe & Australia segment’s growth by increasing our focus on our advantaged global platforms, including Mexican food, super-premium ice cream, and snack bars.

“At the same time, we are pleased to be returning the European Yoplait business to the brand’s original creator and our trusted partner, Sodiaal. The General Mills team will work diligently alongside Sodiaal to ensure a smooth transition as this business enters its next chapter.”

The proposed transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021, subject to appropriate labor consultations, regulatory filings, and other customary closing conditions.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Yogurt and Desserts

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