Danone has reached an agreement to convert its stake in China Mengniu Dairy into a direct holding, marking its first step towards divesting its interest in the dairy firm.
Danone currently holds a 9.8% indirect stake in China Mengniu, a manufacturer and distributor of dairy products, through the joint venture company COFCO Dairy Investments.
The French dairy giant says that the newly announced agreement is part of its ongoing portfolio review process.
Danone has recently come under pressure from some shareholders, which have criticised the company’s performance and have been pushing for governance changes.
The conversion process remains subject to regulatory approval and once completed, will result in Danone owning a direct 9.8% holding in China Mengniu.
Danone says that a divestiture of the stake could then follow later this year through one or several transactions, “depending on market conditions”.
Danone’s indirect stake in China Mengniu’s share capital currently has a book value of approximately €850 million.
The majority of proceeds from any future sale would be returned to shareholders through a share buyback programme.
Danone says that China remains ‘highly strategic’ for the company and that it retains a strong commitment to the country.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
World Beverage Innovation Awards – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global beverage industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Deadline for entries 23 July – enter now!
Don’t get left behind
Start your free Foodbev magazine trial today and join thousands of fellow industry professionals in receiving food and drink trends direct to our business.
Click here to start your free trial