The deal would involve General Mills – whose brands include Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs and Nature Valley – exchanging its 51% share of the yoghurt maker for full ownership of the Canadian Yoplait business. It would also receive a reduced royalty rate for use of the Yoplait and Liberté brands in the US and Canada.
General Mills chief executive officer and chairman Jeff Harmening said: “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.
Focus of other brands
“This transaction improves our growth profile, enhances our margins, and creates value for our shareholders. Additionally, it increases our focus on the brand platforms that have the greatest growth potential.”
Upon completion of the transaction, Yoplait would operate yoghurt businesses in France, the UK and certain other markets. It would also manage a network of 28 franchisees manufacturing and distributing Yoplait branded products in more than 40 countries around the world, with net sales worth $740m (£539.8m)
Dana McNabb, group president of General Mills’ Europe & Australia segment added: “This transaction allows us to accelerate our Europe & 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 General Mills team will work diligently alongside Sodiaal to ensure a smooth transition as this business enters its next chapter.”
The proposed transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021, subject to appropriate labour consultations, regulatory filings and other customary closing conditions.
Meanwhile, healthy snacks manufacturer Grenade has been acquired by Mondelēz International, in a move that sees the snacking giant further expanding into the well-being sector.