The WhiteWave Foods Company Announces Agreement to Acquire So Delicious® Dairy Free; Expands WhiteWave’s Plant-Based Foods & Beverages Platform by Adding Highly Complementary Brand with Significant Growth Potential and New Category Opportunities
“Joining the WhiteWave organization will enable us to continue to build on our commitment to bringing dairy-free joy to even more households”
Best known by consumers for its plant-based beverages, creamers, cultured products and frozen desserts under the So Delicious® Dairy Free brand, So Delicious was founded in 1987 by Mark Brawerman, who was CEO until 2013. Based in Eugene, Ore., So Delicious’ products are 100% plant-based and its entire product offering is non-GMO verified.
So Delicious had net sales of $115 million for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014 and is expected to experience continued strong growth in the second half of 2014. The company has a proven track record of growth and innovation and is strongly associated with organic and non-GMO integrity, nutritious products, environmental stewardship and sustainable agricultural practices.
“The acquisition of So Delicious represents a great addition to the WhiteWave portfolio and fits squarely within our strategy of driving growth in our core businesses,” said Gregg Engles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WhiteWave. “So Delicious is an outstanding company and a unique player in the plant-based food and beverage arena, with consumers seeking out the brand for a broad range of great-tasting, dairy-free beverages, creamers and cultured products. So Delicious is also recognized as the #1 plant-based frozen dessert brand in the United States, and it will provide WhiteWave entry into the growing, plant-based frozen dessert category.”
Engles continued, “At the same time, So Delicious will provide additional growth opportunities in the dynamic plant-based food and beverage space. It builds on our platform of Silk and Alpro branded products by expanding plant-based capabilities and providing new category opportunities. Furthermore, in addition to compelling growth and product expansion potential, the extension of the So Delicious business across WhiteWave’s existing business platform, capabilities and infrastructure, is also expected to provide significant cost savings opportunities. Simply stated, we believe this is a compelling acquisition that will add a highly complementary brand to WhiteWave’s product portfolio and position us to drive additional shareholder value.”
“Joining the WhiteWave organization will enable us to continue to build on our commitment to bringing dairy-free joy to even more households,” said Chuck Marcy, Chief Executive Officer of So Delicious Dairy Free. “For over 25 years, So Delicious has been dedicated to making delicious and responsible, 100% plant-based, non-GMO foods and beverages. WhiteWave shares our passion for uncompromising commitment to non-GMO integrity, environmental stewardship and sustainability. This combination will give us an opportunity to grow our portfolio of dairy-free solutions, and introduce the benefits of dairy-free living to more families.”
Sawaya Segalas & Co., LLC acted as financial advisor to So Delicious and provided a fairness opinion.
Rothschild Inc. acted as financial advisor and Haynes & Boone, LLP and Dechert LLP acted as legal advisors to WhiteWave. Crowell & Moring LLP and Loeb & Loeb LLP acted as legal advisors to So Delicious.
The deal is expected to close in the next few months, subject to customary closing conditions. WhiteWave intends to fund the acquisition through cash balances and available credit. The transaction is expected to be accretive to WhiteWave’s earnings in the first 12 months following closing, excluding certain transaction and integration expenses.
About The Whitewave Foods Company
The WhiteWave Foods Company is a leading consumer packaged food and beverage company that manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, premium dairy products and organic produce throughout North America and Europe. The Company is focused on providing consumers with innovative, great-tasting food and beverage choices that meet their increasing desires for nutritious, flavorful, convenient, and responsibly-produced products. The Company’s widely-recognized, leading brands distributed in North America include Silk® plant-based foods and beverages, International Delight® and LAND O LAKES®* coffee creamers and beverages, Horizon Organic® premium dairy products and Earthbound Farm® certified organic salads, fruits and vegetables. Its popular European brands of plant-based foods and beverages include Alpro® and Provamel®. To learn more about WhiteWave, visit www.whitewave.com; and for more information about Earthbound Farm, visit www.ebfarm.com.