Danone to Buy Yogurt Maker YoCream for $103 Million

Danone to Buy Yogurt Maker YoCream for $103 Million

Danone to Buy Yogurt Maker YoCream for $103 Million

Danone, the world’s biggest yogurt maker, said it agreed to buy YoCream International Inc., a U.S. producer of frozen yogurt, for $103 million, adding distribution networks for restaurants and convenience stores.

Danone is offering about $39.82 in cash for each share, YoCream said in a statement. That’s 39 percent higher than the Portland, Oregon-based company’s most recent closing price. Danone expects to conclude the sale this year, the Paris-based company said on its website today.

“Danone is shoring up its presence in dairy products in a high value-added segment -- U.S. distribution networks outside the home,” Francis Pretre, an analyst at CM-CIC Securitie, wrote in a note today. He has a “hold” rating on the stock.

The acquisition follows Danone’s June agreement to purchase a controlling stake in Russian dairy-product maker OAO Unimilk. Danone will invest 120 million euros ($160 million) in Unimilk and contribute assets to the new business as part of the agreement.

The yogurt market is consolidating as PAI Partners is trying to find a buyer for its 50 percent stake in Yoplait, the world’s second-largest yogurt brand. A deal could value Yoplait at about 1.2 billion euros, people involved in the talks said in July.

Shareholder Support

YoCream will have 2010 sales of about $58 million, Danone said. The Hanna family set up International Yogurt Co. in 1976, and the company later changed its name to YoCream, according to the company’s website.

YoCream said shareholders owning about 77 percent of the company’s stock plan to vote in favor of the acquisition. John Hanna, who formed the company with his brothers Dave and Jim, will remain chief executive officer of the company.

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