Danone to sell back stake in Wimm Bill Dann

08:35, August 13, 2010      

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Danone SA said Thursday it has agreed to sell back its stake in Moscow-based Wimm Bill Dann Foods for 470 million U.S. dollars to finance another proposed merger.

"Danone has signed an agreement with Wimm Bill Dann Foods after which it will acquire for 470 million U.S. dollars, the total value of shares and American Depositary Receipts held by Danone, which represent 18.4 percent of its stake in Wimm Bill Dann," the French food company said in a statement.

The capital sale was a part of a drive to finance Danone's merger of its Russian operations with Unimilk, Wimm-Bill-Dann's competitior, to create the largest dairy in Russia.

The sale will become effective when Paris-based Danone obtains regulatory approval for the merger with Unimilk.

The proposed Danone merger with Unimilk will employ 18,000 workers and generate annual sales of about 1.5 billion euros (1.92 billion U.S. dollars).

Danone reported a 10.1 percent rise in its net profit to 848 million euros (1.09 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half driven by strong sales.



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