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Grupo Lala of Mexico is the lead bidder for Stonyfield Farms, the U.S. organic yogurt unit of Danone (Paris: BN), according to the Wall Street Journal. No word yet on price, although China's Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group previously said that it planned to offer $850 million.
- Why it's the BFD: Danone is selling Stonyfield to secure regulatory approval for its planned $10.4 billion purchase of WhiteWave Foods (NYSE: WWAV), a deal that would double Danone's U.S. business and which represents its largest acquisition in a decade.
- Bottom line: "Grupo Lala's pursuit of Stonyfield comes at a time when the Mexican company and food producers more generally face increasing pressure to offer healthier foods as consumer tastes change. Grupo Lala generates a little more than 60% of its sales from traditional milk products, but the company's faster-growing segment is the one that offers yogurt, cheese and cream." ―Ben Dummett