French yoghurt maker Yoplait, itself the subject of frenzied takeover speculation, has bought Canadian organic yogurt brand Liberté.
Yoplait has acquired the business for an undisclosed sum from Liberté’s shareholders, private-equity firms Swander Pace Capital and Roynat Capital and the Canadian firm’s management team.
Yoplait said Liberté would give it “the opportunity to acquire a strong market position in a new and rapidly growing market segment”.
In 2009, Liberté generated sales of C$175m (US$173.9m), growing 13% on average annually since 2004.
“This transaction is consistent with Yoplait’s investment strategy in markets that are showing significant growth potential in fresh dairy products. This is particularly true in North America and Asia, Yoplait’s natural regions of expansion over the coming years,” Yoplait said.
Yoplait president and CEO Lucien Fa said: “This acquisition illustrates Yoplait’s international investment strategy. Fresh dairy products are expected to enjoy sustained growth, especially outside Europe, and in particular through new consumer segments and we intend to take advantage of these favourable trends.”