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General Mills mulls sale of North America yogurt business – Reuters

General Mills is exploring the sale of its North America yogurt business in a deal that could total more than $2 billion, according to Reuters. The food giant is working with investment bank JPMorgan Chase to gauge interest from potential buyers for the sale of the division, which includes brands Yoplait and Liberté. According to people familiar with the matter, potential buyers could include rival snack food makers and private equity firms. Reports state that General Mills expects to fetch a valuation of over $2 billion for the yogurt portfolio, nearly ten times the unit's EBITDA of around $250 million. The Yoplait company was founded by a group of French dairy farmers in 1964, who partnered with General Mills in 1977 through a franchise agreement. In 2011, General Mills acquired a 51% stake in Yoplait, worth $1.2 billion, from private equity firm PAI Partners and French dairy cooperative Sodiaal. 2021 saw General Mills sell the European operations of Yoplait to Sodiaal. According to the sources, General Mills perceives the remaining yogurt assets as non-core in its current strategy. This is in relation to tough competition in the yogurt sector, with increasing consumer demand for products from market leaders Chobani and Danone's Dannon brand. Yogurt manufacturers have been making changes over the last year – in August, Campbell Soup flagged the potential disposal of its Noosa Yogurt unit, which it acquired as part of its $2.7 billion deal for Sovos Brands last year. Additionally, Danone completed the sale of its Wallaby yogurt and Horizon milk brands to Platinum Equity in February this year. FoodBev has approached General Mills for comment.

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