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March 18, 2011

The ownership of yoghurt brand Yoplait: story so far

Yoghurt brand Yoplait has been firmly in the food industry's M&A spotlight for months, with one of the company's two investors, private-equity firm PAI Partners, looking to sell up. Here's a timeline of the twists and turns - and market talk - so far.

Yoghurt brand Yoplait has been firmly in the food industry’s M&A spotlight for months, with one of the company’s two investors, private-equity firm PAI Partners, looking to sell up. Here’s a timeline of the twists and turns – and market talk – so far.

18 March 2011US/FRANCE: General Mills confirms Yoplait talksGeneral Mills today (18 March) confirmed that it has started exclusive talks to buy into French dairy business Yoplait.

4 March 2011FRANCE: PAI searches for “right” Yoplait partner for SodiaalPrivate-equity firm PAI Partners, which is in talks to sell its half of Yoplait, has said it wants to find the “right partner” for Sodiaal, the French dairy co-op that plans to keep its stake in the yoghurt business.

9 FebruaryFRANCE: PAI Partners confirms nine bids for YoplaitPrivate-equity firm PAI Partners has confirmed that it has received nine bids for its 50% stake in Yoplait, the global yoghurt brand. 

22 NovemberFRANCE: Yoplait head says Nestle “ideal” partnerThe CEO of French dairy manufacturer Yoplait has described Nestle as its “ideal” partner, as part-owner PAI Partners looks to sell its stake in the company, according to reports.

FRANCE: Sodiaal, PAI Partners dismiss Lactalis’s Yoplait bidYoplait’s joint shareholders Sodiaal and PAI Partners have rejected Lactalis’s bid for the entire capital of the yoghurt maker.

17 NovemberUPDATE: FRANCE: Sodiaal stands firm on Yoplait stakeFrench co-operative dairy group Sodiaal has reiterated that it has no intention of selling any part of its 50% stake in yoghurt maker Yoplait.

17 NovemberFRANCE: Lactalis submits bid for YoplaitFrench dairy group Lactalis has submitted an offer for the entire share capital of Yoplait.

10 NovemberYoplait boss wants investor with global reachThe best investor in Yoplait will be a shareholder that can expand the yoghurt’s business globally, the French firm’s chief executive has explained.

9 November 2010FRANCE: PAI Partners’ Yoplait stake set for auction in daysThe head of PAI Partners has said the private-equity firm’s 50% stake in French yoghurt maker Yoplait will be put up for sale in the coming days.

4 November 2010FRANCE: Nestle, Lactalis “mull joint bid for Yoplait”Nestle and Lactalis are reportedly mulling a joint bid for the 50% stake currently held by PAI Partners in French yoghurt and milk desserts maker Yoplait.

14 October 2010FRANCE: Private equity, Grupo Lala, Mengniu “eye Yoplait”The list of potential suitors for Yoplait grew today (14 October) with a clutch of private-equity firms Mexican food maker Grupo Lala and China’s Mengniu Dairy all linked to the French yoghurt maker.

13 October 2010FRANCE: Lactalis coy over Yoplait “interest”French dairy giant Lactalis was today (13 October) coy about its interest in Yoplait, the yoghurt maker that is set for a change of ownership.

28 September 2010US: Yoplait arbitration “could take years” – General Mills CEOGeneral Mills’ dispute over its US licence for the yoghurt brand Yoplait could take years to resolve, the US food giant’s chief executive has said.

13 September 2010US: General Mills calls for arbitration over Yoplait licenceGeneral Mills has called for an arbitration panel to protect its licence to make and sell Yoplait yoghurt in the US.

13 September 2010FRANCE: PAI Partners chief “expects trade buyer for Yoplait stake”PAI Partners’ 50% stake in French yoghurt maker Yoplait is likely to be snapped up by a trade buyer, the private-equity firm’s boss has said.

9 September 2010FRANCE: PAI Partners, Sodiaal “strike deal on Yoplait”The two owners of French yoghurt maker Yoplait have reportedly struck a deal on the future of the business.

24 August 2010FRANCE: PAI plans split of Yoplait into two separate entitiesPrivate-equity group PAI Partners is reportedly mulling plans to split Yoplait into two separate companies within the framework of a possible sale of its 50% shareholding in the French fresh dairy product brand, according to media reports.

28 July 2010FRANCE: Sodiaal keen to keep Yoplait stakeFrench dairy co-op Sodiaal has dismissed reports that it is ready to relinquish part of its 50% stake in yoghurt maker Yoplait.

21 July 2010FRANCE: Banks approach PAI Partners on Yoplait stakeBanks have approached private equity group PAI Partners with propositions from potential buyers to acquire its 50% stake in Yoplait, the yoghurt and milk-based desserts maker.

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