Paris, France—The French dairy company Danone, marketed in the United States as the Dannon Company, acquired Denver, CO-based WhiteWave Foods Co. for $10.4 billion, making this the company’s biggest acquisition in a decade. With brands that include Horizon Organic milk, Wallaby Organic yogurt and Earthbound Farm packaged salad, top sellers in their category, according to WhiteWave, this deal gives Danone a chunk of the fast-growing organic food market that will likely more than double its North American revenue.
According to The Wall Street Journal, WhiteWave has been one of the fastest-growing food companies. Reflecting the demand for organic food, the company reported a net profit of $168 million on revenue of $3.9 billion in 2015. This boosts Danone’s share of North American revenue to 22%, previously 12%, allowing them to better compete with brands like Nestle and Unilever.
At $56.28 per share, a 19% jump in New York morning trading, Danone paid more than its bid price, as well as 40 times WhiteWaves expected earnings in 2017, but after Britain’s referendum to leave the European Union, they may have been motivated to buy. It is in fact, the first multi-billion dollar move since the referendum, which caused volatility in the markets and may be sending European companies to find more stable ground in North America.