Yoplait head names Nestle as “ideal” partner

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 23rd November 2010

The 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.

Lucien Fa, the CEO of Yoplait, told Swiss publication Le Matin Dimanche that Nestle has the “money, structures and people” and would be an “ally” to reduce the gap between it and rival Danone.

He added that the company wants to “conquer” a number of major international markets including India, China and Brazil.

He said the company would make a “radical change” in strategy and added: “We’ll make a break with the past franchise system and approach these markets by participating in the operations with local partners. This means big investment, especially in China and India, our priorities”.

Yoplait is 50/50 owned by private-equity group PAI Partners and French dairy co-operative Sodiaal. PAI Partners has been looking to offload its 50% stake in Yoplait, although Sodiaal has indicated it has no intention of selling its shares.

Last week, the Yoplait owners received a bid for the whole of the business from Lactalis. However, PAI and Sodiaal rejected the bid. Yoplait products in Australia are produced under license by National Foods.

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