Danone has announced that it has completed the sale of 14% of its stake in Japanese probiotic drinks company Yakult for €1.3 billion.
Danone previously held a 21.29% stake in Yakult, and it has now has sold over 24 million shares in the company, though Danone will retain a 7% stake in Yakult.
The company claims the sale was approved as Danone wants to streamline its operations and focus on other areas to accelerate growth.
Yakult will maintain its collaborative operations with Danone despite the deal, and Danone will remain Yakult’s largest shareholder.
The €1.3 billion figure is approximately 39 times that of Yakult’s 2017 net income, according to Danone.
Danone announced its intention to sell a stake in the company in March, and it claimed the move was “in accordance with its continued focus on disciplined capital allocation.”
In a statement, Danone said: “Danone and Yakult will intensify their joint efforts to promote probiotics through the jointly created Global Probiotics Council. The parties also intend to expand the Ishoku Dogen programme which aims at deepening the understanding of the link between diet and health.
“From a commercial perspective, the partners will study the feasibility of new collaboration projects such as the distribution of Yakult’s products by Danone in European markets where the brand is not currently engaged in substantial business, with Spain as an initial test market.”
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