Danone Sells Horizon Organic Dairy Brand

Platinum Equity to operate brand as independent business
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
Horizon Organic
Horizon Organic's portfolio of organic dairy products includes milk, creamers and whiteners, yogurt, cheese, and butter.

Global food and beverage company Danone has entered into an agreement to sell its Horizon Organic dairy brands to global investment firm Platinum Equity.

Horizon Organic has been producing organic milk since 1991. It became a brand of Danone North America in 2017. According to Danone, Horizon Organic is the largest USDA-certified organic dairy brand in the world. Horizon works with more than 600 family farmers across the United States to produce a portfolio of organic dairy products consisting of milk, creamers and whiteners, yogurt, cheese, and butter. 

[Read more: “Chobani Acquires La Colombe”]

"Horizon Organic is an iconic name in dairy that is well recognized and beloved by consumers," said Louis Samson, co-president of Los Angeles-based Platinum Equity. "The brand has earned a reputation for quality and innovation that is unmatched in the industry. We appreciate Danone's confidence in our ability to build on that legacy and support Horizon Organic's growth as a stand-alone company."

"Premium offerings, including organic and value-added products, are driving the growth in the dairy milk category," noted Platinum Equity Managing Director Adam Cooper. "Horizon Organic is a pioneer of that segment and is in position to continue capitalizing on and accelerating the trend.

"We have a lot of experience supporting food and beverage businesses,” continued Cooper. “We look forward to partnering with Horizon Organic's management team to ensure a seamless transition and chart a path for continued growth and expansion."

Platinum Equity has decades of experience acquiring and operating global businesses that have been part of large corporate entities. The company's current portfolio includes Biscuit International, a European manufacturer of private label sweet biscuits; wine producer Fantini Group Vini; and seafood provider Iberconsa. Previous Platinum Equity investments include JM Swank, a food ingredient distributor acquired from Conagra, and Harvest Meat Co., a U.S. distributor of packaged meat and bakery products. Platinum Equity has approximately $47 billion of assets under management.

In addition to Horizon Organic, the proposed deal with Danone will also allow Platinum Equity to acquire the Wallaby brand, an Australian-inspired Greek-style yogurt made with organic milk and premium ingredients.

As reported by Reuters, the sale of the Horizon Organic and Wallaby businesses is part of Danone's portfolio review and asset rotation program that the company revealed in March 2022. 

"This sale, once completed, will allow us to concentrate further on our current portfolio of strong health-focused brands and reinvest in our growth priorities," said Danone CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique.

Danone did not disclose the financial details of the deal. The proposed acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Paris-based Danone operates in three health-focused, fast-growing categories: essential dairy and plant-based products; waters; and specialized nutrition. With 100,000 employees, and products sold in more than 120 markets, Danone generated €27.7 billion (approximately US $30 billion-plus) in sales in 2022. Danone's portfolio includes leading international brands (Activia, Alpro, Danette, Danonino, evian, Nutricia and Volvic, among others), as well as local and regional brands (including Aqua, Blédina, Bonafont, Cow & Gate, Mizone, Oikos, and Silk). 

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