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Danone Explains Benefits of WhiteWave Acquisition

Dairy yogurt giant expands its holdings to non-dairy companies in an effort to move forward on its sustainability promise.


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Last week, Paris-based yogurt company Danone S.A. acquired WhiteWave Foods Co.—owners of plant-based brands such as Silk, So Delicious, and Vega. Media outlet Food Business News described the acquisition as a “win-win” for both parties, as WhiteWave’s products will bring a stronger United States presence to French brand Danone, while Danone will allow for international distribution of WhiteWave’s vegan-centric products. “In a nutshell, the plant-based proposition is for a healthier choice and a better choice for the planet, using less land, less water, emitting less greenhouse (gas) than dairy,” Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber said. As for WhiteWave, the $12.5 billion acquisition—which is 22 times the $590 million amount the company projects in 2016 earning—positions the company for extensive growth. “Perhaps the most exciting to me is the globalization, particularly of our plant-based platform,” WhiteWave Chairman and CEO Gregg Engles said. In May, Engles revealed that WhiteWave’s plant-based holdings were responsible for a 28 percent increase in the company’s net income during the first quarter of 2016.

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