The European Commission on Friday cleared France’s Danone to proceed with its $10.4 billion purchase of U.S. organic food producer WhiteWave, subject to it selling a business in Belgium.
Danone will sell a large part of its “growing-up milk” business in Belgium, as the Commission said only Nestle would have remained as a competitor in the country otherwise.
“The Commission had concerns that the merged entity would not have faced sufficient competitive pressure from the remaining player in this market,” the Commission, which enforces competition rules in the European Union, said in a statement.
The purchase of WhiteWave, Danone’s largest acquisition since 2007, will help it pursue affluent consumers by adding WhiteWave’s popular health food offerings such as Silk almond milk and Earthbound Farm organic salad.
By Robert-Jan Bartunek
A new wave of brands is emerging that promotes indulgence and rejects the notion of sacrifice. Low-maintenance “hangover” beauty products are designed to address the effects of late nights and partying without judgment or hassle, and even include cosmetics that are formulated in a way that means you can fall asleep in your makeup without feeling guilty.
The pilot will allow the company to scale circular packaging in about 18 markets over the next three years, an approach that jumps on the success of similar efforts in the company’s Indonesia ecoSPIRITS program, which launched in 2022 and is active in 38 bars.
Unilever’s focus on purpose across its brands has been a source of criticism from some of its investors. Its new CEO Hein Schumacher says the company now recognises there are some brands where the concept is simply not relevant.