Turnaround of the Year: Danone
AUTHOR Lillianna Byington@lil_byington
PUBLISHED Dec. 3, 2018
Most recent earnings: Q3 sales reached $7.14 billion
Outlook: If Danone turns to M&A and product innovation in the better-for-you sector, it could see more financial and brand recognition in the coming year.
After years of struggling with yogurt sales and an overly broad portfolio, Danone has overhauled its business to better respond to changing consumer trends — placing it squarely in the middle of the growing demand for plant-based and better-for-you fare.During the last year, Danone has accelerated its organic growth, expanded its portfolio and announced plans to invest in start-up companies that have a healthier focus. These shifts have led to financial and brand growth unmatched by few competitors, earning it the title for turnaround company of the year.
Michael Neuwirth, a spokesman with Danone North America, told Food Dive the company has seen substantial growth in recent years as it has shifted its resources to the better-for-you market — highlighted by the recent acquisition of plant-based foods maker WhiteWave in 2017 for $12.5 billion. Neuwirth, who has been with the company for 20 years, said Danone has narrowed its focus by shedding pasta, beer, cookies and champagne brands…
FINISH READNG: Turnaround of the Year: Danone | Food Dive
Press release – April 12th, 2017
Danone Completes Acquisition of WhiteWave
Paris, France – April 12th, 2017 – Danone is pleased to announce that it has today completed its acquisition of WhiteWave. Under the terms of the merger agreement, WhiteWave shareholders will receive $56.25 per share in cash. In connection with completion of the transaction, the WhiteWave common stock has ceased trading prior to market opening today and will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
Danone and WhiteWave will now combine their activities in North America to operate as a Strategic Business Unit, named “DanoneWave”. As previously announced, the combination will include Danone Dairy’s and WhiteWave’s current North American businesses under the leadership of Lorna Davis, who has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the combined entity. Alpro will join forces with Danone Dairy as a key pillar of its new plant-based category, managed by Gustavo Valle, with the aim to expand and grow the plant-based category around the world.
“I am thrilled that we have completed the acquisition of WhiteWave”, said Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone. “Danone and WhiteWave are a perfect match to build a global leader leveraging consumer trends and expectations for healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking choices. With leading positions in some of the fastest growing, health-focused categories, this combination will drive our Alimentation Revolution, our business performance, and will accelerate our 2020 growth journey. I am convinced that the combined experience and capabilities of our new management team and the extensive preparation work done by the integration team since July will capture the great business opportunities ahead and fully deliver our synergy plan. I am therefore fully confident that we will drive strong value creation and deliver the attractive financial benefits we outlined last July. We now look forward to welcoming our talented new team members from WhiteWave”…
Finish reading: DANONE : Danone Completes Acquisition of WhiteWave
May 16, 2017, 5:00 AM EDT
Danone, the French yogurt giant grappling with sluggish sales, has turned to a venture capital firm that backs startups selling everything from snack bars containing cricket protein to tater tots made from cauliflower.
A unit of the company, Danone Ventures, has invested in AccelFoods, a fund run by two women that looks for upstart natural and organic brands that are stealing shelf space and sales from established food companies — like Danone itself. Both companies confirmed the deal.
It’s the third investment for Danone Ventures — which was founded less than a year ago — and the latest example of a large food company launching an in-house VC fund in a bid to reignite sales growth. The unit has also put money into Farmer’s Fridge, which makes vending machines that sell organic salads and snacks, and a French baked-goods purveyor.
Founded in 2013 by managing partners Jordan Gaspar and Lauren Jupiter, New York-based AccelFoods has backed about 30 companies. The firm reopened its fund to make room for Danone, raising an additional $15 million in a round that increased its total pot to $35 million. Acre Venture Partners, a fund affiliated with Campbell Soup Co., previously invested in the fund.
Struggling amid a broad shift in eating and shopping habits, large food and beverage companies have increasingly invested in small startups as they search for the next big product in a rapidly changing food landscape. Many companies, including General Mills Inc. and Kellogg Co., have launched their own VC funds. The investments help tap an entrepreneurial spirit that can be difficult to maintain at large global companies.
Danone shares fell after the world’s largest yogurt maker reported the third consecutive quarterly drop in volume and irked analysts by saying it will include this month’s $10 billion takeover of WhiteWave Foods Co. in its like-for-like sales figures for 2017…
Finish reading: Danone Turns to Fund Run by Two Women in Search for Next Kale – Bloomberg