General Mills has agreed to sell its 51% controlling stake in Yoplait’s European operations to French dairy cooperative Sodiaal, in exchange for full ownership of the Canadian Yoplait business.
The deal forms part of General Mills’ strategy to reshape its portfolio to drive profitable growth, increasing its focus on the brand platforms that it says have the greatest potential.
Under the terms of the agreement, General Mills will acquire Sodiaal’s 48% ownership stake in Yoplait Canada Holding, as well as a reduced royalty rate for use of the Yoplait and Liberté brands in the US and Canada.
The Yoplait Canada yogurt business – which generated $290 million in net sales last year – will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Mills.
Following completion of the deal, General Mills will own yogurt operations in the US and Canada that generated a combined $1.4 billion in net sales in 2020.
Meanwhile, Sodiaal will run yogurt businesses in France, the UK and certain other markets. It will also manage a network of 28 franchises manufacturing and distributing Yoplait branded products in more than 40 countries around the world.
Net sales for the Yoplait business that will be owned by Sodiaal totalled $740 million in fiscal 2020.
“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 CEO, Jeff Harmening.
Dana McNabb, group president of General Mills’ Europe and Australia segment, said: “This transaction allows us to accelerate our Europe and 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 transaction is excepted to close by the end of 2021, subject to regulatory conditions.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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