WhiteWave Surges on Acquisition Agreement

WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE: WWAV) shares saw a handy gain in Thursday on news of an acquisition. Paris-based Danone has entered into a definitive merger agreement with WhiteWave to acquire its shares for $56.25 per share in an all-cash transaction, representing a total enterprise value of roughly $12.5 billion, including debt and liabilities.

Both companies’ boards of directors unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, pending shareholder and regulatory approval.

The price represents a premium of 18.6% from the July 6 closing price ($47.43). Also when compared to the 50-day ($44.63) and 200-day ($40.78) moving averages, the price represents a premium of 26.0% and 37.9%, respectively.

Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone, commented:

At Danone, we constantly seek to align our vision of the world, our mission and our businesses: we believe we have a special responsibility, as expressed in our Manifesto, to help and support people in adopting healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices and constantly evolve our portfolio of brands and products to achieve this objective. To that extent, we found in WhiteWave the perfect alliance as we both believe in a healthier future and are conscious of our power to lead society forward. This unique combination positions us better to address tomorrow’s consumer trends and represents a great opportunity to step change the ambition of our plan for an Alimentation revolution and to accelerate our path towards strong sustainable and profitable growth by 2020. It will allow us to enhance Danone’s growth profile and reinforce our resilience through a broader platform in North America. We are convinced that combining with WhiteWave will create significant value for all of our stakeholders.

Shares of WhiteWave were up nearly 19% at $56.30 Thursday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $50.21 and a 52-week trading range of $31.40 to $56.81.

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