FrieslandCampina - said to be mulling stake sale in yogurt venture

FrieslandCampina - said to be mulling stake sale in yogurt venture

Dutch dairy major FrieslandCampina is reportedly weighing up a sale of its 50% stake in Thailand yogurt business Betagen.

The cooperative became co-owner of Betagen through a joint venture with locally-based Thai Advanced Food back in 2007 but, according to a report from news agency Bloomberg, it is now pondering an exit.

Bloomberg, citing "people with knowledge of the matter," suggested FrieslandCampina could raise up to US$500m through selling its stake in the business, which produces yogurts and yogurt drinks.

Its report said the Dutch company is working with an adviser to identify a buyer for the stake in the joint venture.

Since 2007, Betagen, which manufactures FrieslandCampina brands including Dutch Lady and Friso, has expanded into neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

The Attasakulchai family, which owns Thai Advanced Food, has a pre-emptive right to acquire FrieslandCampina's stake in Betagen before it is offered to other prospective suitors, Bloomberg's sources said. 

But those sources added that deliberations for the divestment are at an early stage and FrieslandCampina could decide to retain its stake in the business.

When contacted by just-food, a spokesperson for the Dutch cooperative said: "It is FrieslandCampina's policy not to comment on rumours and speculation in the market."