Danone Sells Horizon Organic And Wallaby To Platinum Equity
Danone this week announced it has signed an agreement to sell its premium organic dairy activity in the United States to Platinum Equity, a U.S.-based investment firm. The sale includes Horizon Organic and Wallaby.
Horizon Organic is the largest USDA-certified organic dairy brand in the world and introduced the first organic milk available coast to coast in the United States in 1991. Horizon Organic’s portfolio of organic dairy products includes milk, creamer and whiteners, yogurt, cheese and butter.
The proposed acquisition also includes the Wallaby brand, an Australian-inspired Greek-style yogurt made with organic milk and premium ingredients.
Platinum Equity’s Experience And Future Plans For The Brands
“Horizon Organic is an iconic name in dairy that is well recognized and beloved by consumers,” says Louis Samson, co-president, Platinum Equity. “Horizon Organic is a pioneer of that segment and is in position to continue capitalizing on and accelerating the trend.”
Platinum Equity’s Extensive Acquisition History And Current Portfolio
Platinum Equity has decades of experience acquiring and operating global businesses that have been part of large corporate entities. The firm recently announced the pending acquisition of Kohler Energy from Kohler Co.
Platinum Equity also has acquired businesses from firms like Ball Corp., Caterpillar, ConAgra, Emerson Electric, Ingersoll Rand and Johnson & Johnson, among others. Platinum Equity’s current portfolio includes private label sweet biscuit manufacturer Biscuit International, wine producer Fantini Group Vini and seafood provider Iberconsa. Previous Platinum Equity investments include JM Swank, a food ingredients distributor acquired from ConAgra, and Harvest Meat Co., a U.S. distributor of packaged meat and bakery products.
“Premium offerings, including organic and value-added products, are driving growth in the dairy milk category. Horizon Organic is a pioneer of that segment and is in position to continue capitalizing on and accelerating the trend,” says Adam Cooper, managing director, Platinum Equity.
Future Prospects Of Horizon Organic Under Platinum Equity’s Leadership
“We are excited about Horizon Organic’s potential as an independent business with a renewed sense of focus and a commitment to investing in its success,” Cooper adds. “We have a lot of experience supporting food and beverage businesses. We look forward to partnering with Horizon Organic’s management team to ensure a seamless transition and chart a path for continued growth and expansion.”
Danone’s Strategic Shift With Renew Danone Strategy
The sale is part of Danone’s portfolio review and asset rotation program the company announced in March 2022 as part of its Renew Danone strategy.
In 2022, the U.S. premium organic activity, comprised of the Horizon Organic and Wallaby business, represented approximately 3% of Danone’s global revenues and had a dilutive impact on Danone’s like-for-like sales growth and recurring operating margin.
Danone says it will retain a non-consolidated minority stake in the business. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions.
Closing Remarks From Danone CEO On The Sale And Future Focus
“As part of our Renew Danone strategy, we committed to a portfolio review and asset rotation for businesses that fell outside our priority growth areas of focus to drive value creation. Today marks an important milestone in delivering this commitment while giving the Horizon Organic and Wallaby businesses the opportunity to thrive under new leadership,” Danone CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said in Tuesday’s announcement. “This sale, once completed, will allow us to concentrate further on our current portfolio of strong, health-focused brands and reinvest in our growth priorities.”
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Source: Cheese Market News