Tags: General | Mills | Acquire | Yoplait | Stake

General Mills Said to Be Near Deal to Acquire Yoplait Stake

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 02:40 PM

General Mills Inc. is near an agreement to buy PAI Partners’ half of Yoplait in a deal that values the yogurt maker at about 1.6 billion euros ($2.25 billion), said two people with knowledge of the sale process.

An announcement may come as soon as tomorrow, said the people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations aren’t public. Sodiaal, which founded Yoplait, owns the other half of the yogurt maker and has said it doesn’t plan to sell its shares.

Yoplait has become the world’s second-largest yogurt brand, partly through its distribution partnership with General Mills. Sodiaal and PAI had said they would examine suitors’ plans to further the Yoplait brand in areas where it currently has little or no presence, such as China, India and Latin America.

General Mills, led by Chief Executive Officer Ken Powell, gets almost 80 percent of its sales from the U.S. The maker of the Cheerios cereal brand also has operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company is scheduled to report financial results next week.

French newspaper Le Figaro reported the deal earlier today. Minneapolis-based General Mills didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. An official at PAI wasn’t immediately available for comment. Jacques Caillaud, a spokesman for Sodiaal, declined to comment.

General Mills shares dropped 28 cents to $35.77 at 12:53 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They had risen 1.3 percent this year before today.

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General Mills Inc. is near an agreement to buy PAI Partners half of Yoplait in a deal that values the yogurt maker at about 1.6 billion euros ($2.25 billion), said two people with knowledge of the sale process. An announcement may come as soon as tomorrow, said the...
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Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 02:40 PM
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