African expansion for Danone

The View from AfricaDanone is set to buy a 49 percent stake in Fan Milk International, a frozen dairy products and juices maker in west Africa.

The deal with Dubai private equity firm Abraaj Group, comes after Danone, the world’s largest yoghurt maker, last year paid €550m to take control of Morocco’s top dairy firm Centrale Laitiere.

The Abraaj Group will initially retain 51 percent of Fan Milk, whose 2012 sales rose 16 percent to around €120m.

Under the deal, Danone will in coming years gradually buy a controlling stake in the business, the statement said. The transaction is expected to be finalised by the end of 2013.

“Danone is already present in North and South Africa, and we will now be able to develop the dairy product market in West Africa,” Emmanuel Faber, Danone Co-Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement today.

Danone generates an estimated €700m in fresh dairy product sales in North Africa, which compares with group dairy product sales of €11.7bn in 2012.

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