Danone to sell stake in Japan’s Yakult for US$1.8 Billion

February 14, 2018 | By | Reply More

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PARIS: Danone, the world’s largest yoghurt maker, is selling about US$1.8 billion worth of shares in Yakult Honsha Co, paring back a Japanese investment the French yoghurt maker has held for more than a decade.

Yakult will offer as many as 24.6 million shares held by its biggest shareholder in a secondary sale, including over-allotment, the Japanese company said in a statement Wednesday.

Danone said it will remain Yakult’s largest shareholder after the sale, with a stake of about 7%.

The move comes six months after activist fund Corvex Management built up a stake in the maker of Activia yoghurt and Evian water, as European companies increasingly come under pressure to improve results.

Danone had previously sought to raise its stake in Yakult, whose probiotic and fermented milk drinks are similar to Danone’s offerings, though the Japanese company opposed such a move.

Danone didn’t comment on what it plans to do with the proceeds.

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