PAI, Sodiaal confirm General Mills to buy 50 percent of Yoplait

By @ibtimes on

Private equity fund PAI Partners and French dairy co-operative Sodiaal confirmed they had entered exclusive talks with General Mills toward a sale of 50 percent of yogurt brand Yoplait.

The deal values the Yoplait stake at 800 million euros, PAI and Sodiaal said in a statement on Friday.

The companies didn't give specifics on the timing of the conclusion of the deal, nor how General Mills would finance it.

The announcement caps months of negotiations over the yogurt brand, which had attracted multiple bids from food giants like Mexico's Groupo Lala and Nestle .

The deal will create two structures -- an entity that holds the brand rights and a company that runs the operations. General Mills will control the operational part with 51 percent ownership, while the brand entity is evenly divided, according to a spokesman for PAI Funds.

The structure allows Sodiall to remain a shareholder, something it had long sought in the negotiations.

General Mills has held the license to Yoplait yogurt in the U.S. since 1977, where it has market share of around 35 percent.

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