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Danone enters a new phase in its strategic partnership


Danone  has announced  that  it  has  signed  an  amended  Memorandum  of  Understanding  with  Yakult Honsha  Co,  Ltd.  (“Yakult”),  a  global  leader  in  probiotic  beverages,  headquartered  and  listed  in Japan.  Building  on  a  formal  collaboration  existing since  2004,  the  companies  are  confirming  their commitment to a long-term strategic relationship and shared vision to promote probiotics as part of a balanced diet. 

Danone and Yakult will intensify their joint efforts to promote probiotics through the jointly created Global Probiotics Council. The parties also intend to expand the Ishoku Dogen program which aims at deepening the understanding of the link between diet and health. 

From a commercial perspective, the partners will study the feasibility of new collaboration projects such as the distribution of Yakult’s products by Danone in European markets where the brand is not currently engaged in substantial business, with Spain as an initial test market.

Reduced stake in Yakult in line with capital allocation priorities.

In  accordance  with  its  continued  focus  on  disciplined  capital  allocation,  Danone  announces  in parallel its intention to sell part of its 21.29% stake in Yakult. 

The intended divestiture will be carried out through a market transaction launched today by Yakult and expected to settle in March. Yakult has also announced today a JPY 36 billion share buyback program in which Danone will participate.

Danone  targets  a  shareholding  of  approximately  7%  of  Yakult’s  total  outstanding  shares  following the completion of the transaction, subject to market conditions. With this, Danone is expected to remain Yakult’s largest shareholder and will continue to sit on Yakult’s Board of Directors.