General Mills takes full ownership of Canadian Yoplait business after sale of European operations

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: General Mills
Photo Credit: General Mills

Related tags General mills Yoplait Yogurt

General Mills has completed the sale of its 51% controlling interest in its Yoplait S.A.S European operations to French dairy cooperative Sodiaal in exchange for full ownership of the Canadian Yoplait business and a reduced royalty rate for use of the Yoplait and Liberté brands in the United States and Canada.

Sodiaal now operates Yoplait's yogurt businesses in France, the UK, and other markets, and manages a network of 28 franchisees manufacturing and distributing Yoplait branded products in more than 40 countries around the world. Yoplait S.A.S net sales totaled $740m in fiscal 2020, according to General Mills. 

In exchange, General Mills has acquired Sodiaal’s 49% ownership interest in Yoplait Canada Holding Co., which generated $290m in net sales in fiscal 2020. Under the deal, General Mills now operates with a reduced royalty rate for use of the Yoplait and Liberté brands in the US and Canada.

The deal, which was originally announced in March 2021, is part of General Mills' broader strategy (dubbed 'Accelerate') of reshaping and refocusing its portfolio on other product segments.  

“This transaction improves our growth profile, enhances our margins, and creates value for our shareholders. Additionally, it increases our focus on the brand platforms that have the greatest growth potential," ​General Mills chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening previously said at the time the deal was announced earlier this year. 

“This transaction allows us to accelerate our Europe & Australia segment’s growth by increasing our focus on our advantaged global platforms, including Mexican food, super-premium ice cream, and snack bars,”​ commented Dana McNabb, group president of General Mills’ Europe & Australia segment.

“At the same time, we are pleased to be returning the European Yoplait business to the brand’s original creator and our trusted partner, Sodiaal. The General Mills team will work diligently alongside Sodiaal to ensure a smooth transition as this business enters its next chapter.”

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