PAI Partners’ Yoplait stake set for auction in days

Posted by Josette Dunn on 10th November 2010

The 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.Lionel Zinsou, chairman and CEO of PAI Partners, told French radio station Radio BFM that the stake will go on the block “in the next few days”.

He revealed that PAI had already received “a good deal of interest” in the Yoplait stake from trade buyers but did not reveal the names of the suitors.

“It could be a French group, a European group or a group from an emerging country. We don’t know,” adding that the stake may also attract interest from financial investors.

Quizzed on whether he considered Nestle to be the potential favourite for the stake, he replied: “There is no exclusivity.”

Zinsou would not be drawn on the likely value of the transaction but said he expected a deal to be closed by the end of the first quarter of next year.

The remaining 50% of Yoplait’s capital is owned by French dairy group, Sodiaal, which has indicated it has no intention of selling any part of its stake.

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