US: Saputo, Michael Foods "front-runners" for Dean Foods unit
Dean Foods said it was considering the sale of its Morningstar business in September
According to Reuters, the two companies have emerged as front-runners in the auction process, which may fetch between $1bn to $1.5bn for the producer of creams and cultured dairy products for foodservice and own-label firms.
Other bidders are said to including Mexican dairy company Grupo Lala and private-equity firm Apollo Global Management, the publication reported.
Dean Foods said it was considering the sale of its Morningstar business in September and at the time said: "The company has not yet identified a buyer for Morningstar, but believes the business possesses an attractive portfolio in a growing marketplace and a top-notch management team. The company only intends to sell the Morningstar business if it can do so in a transaction that maximises shareholder value and helps ensure the future success of the business."
TD Securities analyst Michael Van Aelst, who covers Saputo, said he had suspected the Canadian firm was interested in the assets.
"At first glance, one might think that Morningstar is not as tight a fit as cheese assets. However, keep in mind that Saputo is familiar with most of the products - Saputo sells many of them in Canada - and these products would be complementary in its US foodservice distribution.
"Currently, Saputo's US foodservice business is geared more towards the pizzerias - an acquisition of Morningstar could open doors to other foodservice customers, leading to cross-selling opportunities."
Dean Foods spun off its WhiteWave unit in an IPO last month. It still owns a majority stake in the company, which markets brands including Alpro.
WhiteWave Foods has reaffirmed its full-year forecast for adjusted profits after first-quarter results that saw underlying earnings increase....
- It won't just be Unilever to push for Brexit hikes
- Danone's Q3 sales - what the analysts say
- Interview: UK trade body on Brexit's policy impact
- Interview: UK trade body on the impact of Brexit
- Future trends in natural food to go mainstream
- PepsiCo sets 2025 nutrition, sustainability goals
- Nestle lowers outlook on "softer environment"
- China "transition" drags on Danone Q3
- UK announces "action plan" to drive food exports
- France eyes leading role in proteins
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Omega-3 in Food and Beverage:Time for a Reboot?
- Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Bakery (UK) - Industry Report
- Redefining Snacks: From Conventional Snacks to Snack Replacements