Leading dairy products brands projected to benefit from Platinum Equity’s carve-out experience and operational expertise
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 1, 2024) – Platinum Equity today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Horizon Organic and Wallaby from Danone.
Horizon Organic is the largest USDA-certified organic dairy brand in the world and is a pioneer in dairy beverages, having introduced the first organic milk available coast to coast in the United States in 1991. Horizon Organic’s portfolio of organic dairy products includes milk, creamers and whiteners, yogurt, cheese and butter.
The proposed acquisition also includes the Wallaby brand, an Australian-inspired Greek-style yogurt made with organic milk and premium ingredients.
“Horizon Organic is an iconic name in dairy that is well recognized and beloved by consumers,” said Platinum Equity Co-President Louis Samson. “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 standalone company.”
The US dairy category is estimated at $68 billion with milk comprising approximately $17 billion of that total.
“Premium offerings, including organic and value-added products, are driving the growth in the dairy milk category,” said 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.”
Horizon Organic is an iconic name in dairy that is well recognized and beloved by consumers. 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 standalone company.
Platinum Equity has decades of experience acquiring and operating global businesses that have been part of large corporate entities. The firm recently announced the pending acquisition of Kohler Energy from Kohler Co. In recent years Platinum Equity has also acquired businesses from firms like Ball Corporation, Caterpillar, ConAgra, Emerson Electric, Ingersoll Rand and Johnson & Johnson, among others.
“We are excited about Horizon Organic’s potential as an independent business with a renewed sense of focus and a commitment to investing in its success,” said Cooper. “We have a lot of experience supporting food and beverage businesses. 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’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 ingredients distributor acquired from ConAgra, and Harvest Meat Company, a US distributor of packaged meat and bakery products.
The proposed acquisition of Horizon Organic and Wallaby is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
Morgan Lewis is serving as legal advisor and Alston & Bird is serving as debt financing counsel to Platinum Equity.
About Platinum Equity
Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $47 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 50 operating companies that serve customers around the world. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 28 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 450 acquisitions.
About Danone (www.danone.com)
Danone is a leading global food and beverage company operating in three health-focused, fast-growing and on-trend categories: Essential Dairy & Plant-Based products, Waters and Specialized Nutrition. With a long-standing mission of bringing health through food to as many people as possible, Danone aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices while committing to achieve measurable nutritional, social, societal and environment impact. Danone has defined its Renew strategy to restore growth, competitiveness, and value creation for the long-term. With 100,000 employees, and products sold in over 120 markets, Danone generated €27.7 billion in sales in 2022. Danone’s portfolio includes leading international brands (Actimel, Activia, Alpro, Aptamil, Danette, Danio, Danonino, evian, Nutricia, Nutrilon, Volvic, among others) as well as strong local and regional brands (including Aqua, Blédina, Bonafont, Cow & Gate, Mizone, Oikos and Silk). Listed on Euronext Paris and present on the OTCQX market via an ADR (American Depositary Receipt) program, Danone is a component stock of leading sustainability indexes including the ones managed by Moody’s and Sustainalytics, as well as the Ethibel Sustainability Index, the MSCI ESG Indexes, the FTSE4Good Index Series, Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and the Access to Nutrition Index. Danone’s ambition is to be B-Corp certified at global level in 2025.
About Horizon Organic®
Horizon Organic has been producing great-tasting organic milk since 1991. From the start, Horizon has remained committed to protecting a healthy planet and hasn’t stopped working toward raising the bar as a leading organic milk producer in the U.S. In 2017, Horizon Organic became a brand of Danone North America. Today, Horizon works with more than 600 family farmers across the U.S. For more information on Horizon’s full portfolio of organic dairy products, visit Horizon.com.