Danone to sell part of Yakult

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK -

FRENCH food com­pany Danone has an­nounced that it is to sell part of its 21pc stake in Yakult.

The stake, which Danone in­tends to re­duce as part of Yakult’s share buy­back of JPY 36bn (€271m), is worth €2.29bn at cur­rent mar­ket prices, ac­cord­ing to Davy an­a­lysts.

Danone an­tic­i­pates hold­ing a stake of around 7pc stake in the Ja­pan-based Yakult post sell-down.

Ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts at Davy, the di­ves­ture is es­ti­mated to raise net pro­ceeds of €1.54bn.

Fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the trans­ac­tion, Danone is ex­pected to re­main Yakult’s largest share­holder, and to con­tinue to sit on its board of di­rec­tors. It is ex­pected that the trans­ac­tion will be com­pleted in March.

Since 2004 a col­lab­o­ra­tion has ex­isted be­tween Danone and Yakult, and yes­ter­day Danone said that the com­pa­nies were con­firm­ing their com­mit­ment to “a long-term strate­gic re­la­tion­ship, and shared vi­sion to pro­mote pro­bi­otics as part of a balanced diet”.

“From a com­mer­cial per­spec­tive, the part­ners will study the fea­si­bil­ity of new col­lab­o­ra­tion projects such as the dis­tri­bu­tion of Yakult’s prod­ucts by Danone in Euro­pean mar­kets, where the brand is not cur­rently en­gaged in sub­stan­tial busi­ness,” Danone said.

In its most re­cent re­sults, re­ported sales at Danone in­creased 16.6pc year-on-year to €6.4bn in the three months to 30 Septem­ber 2017.

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