Blog: John ShepherdWhiteWave Foods sets date for vote on Danone sale

John Shepherd | 16 August 2016

US-based WhiteWave Foods has set a date for its shareholders to seal the deal on the planned US$12.5bn takeover of the group by French dairy giant Danone.

The 4 October "special meeting" is expected to finalise the agreement entered into last month that would double Danone's size in the US market

The announcement comes days after the planned deal drew howls of protest from US organic industry watchdog group The Cornucopia Institute.

Cornucopia has filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. The group has also launched a petition calling for federal regulators to investigate the proposed merger, which Cornucopia claims could allow Danone to "easily be able to beat out any competition by lowering prices beyond what farmstead dairies, and more moderately-sized milk processors and marketers, can withstand".

just-food contacted WhiteWave and Danone last week for reaction to Cornucopia's move. Danone has not returned requests for comment, while WhiteWave would only say: "We need to receive regulatory approval for this transaction, and we don’t comment on pending regulatory matters."

Yesterday (15 August), announcing the date for the shareholders meeting, WhiteWave said it "continues to expect the transaction to close by the end of the year", subject to the approval of its shareholders, regulatory approvals, and customary conditions.

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