Mexico’s Grupo Lala is determined to win the bid against their Chinese rival, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, to acquire the recognized American organic yogurt manufacturer Stoney Farm Inc., a subsidiary company of Danone.
Meanwhile, the Chinese company offered $850 million for the American organic yogurt manufacturer. This was known through a story published by the Wall Street Journal that the Lala group would have surpassed that offer and is the main bidder in the process of acquiring Sonyfield Farm.
Grupo Lala operates 21 production facilities and 159 distribution centers in Mexico, the United States and Central America.
The company offers a range of milk, yogurt, cheese and other lactose products under the two principal brands, Lala and Nutri Leche. Its shares are listed in Mexico and the company has a market value of close to 5 million dollars, according to the Journal.
Grupo Lala wants to be the new organic yogurt manufacturer in U.S.
Grupo Lala’s pursuit of the American organic yogurt manufacturer comes at a time when the Mexican company and food producers more generally face increasing pressure to offer healthier foods as consumer tastes change.
The Mexican company makes a little more than 60 percent of its sales from their traditional milk products, but the company’s faster-growing segment is the one that offers yogurt, cheese and cream.
In the first quarter, sales from this business increased by almost 39% from the year-earlier period while revenue from the milk business rose by 11%. A deal would also help Grupo Lala achieve its stated goal of expanding further into the United States.
Last year, Stoneyfield Farm generated annual revenues of $370 million. The American organic yogurt manufacturer and Greek-styled yogurt was founded in 1983 and is considered a pioneer in feeding consumers’ growing desire for simpler and more natural products.
The Wall Street Journal said that in March Danone announced plans to sell Stonyfield to help it win regulatory approval for the proposed $10 billion purchase of organic-foods producer WhiteWave Foods Co.