Bel Considers Buying PAI Partners’ 50% In Yoplait – Report

French cheese maker Bel is considering acquiring PAI Partners SAS’s 50 percent stake in yogurt-maker Yoplait, Reuters reported citing Le Figaro newspaper. Le Figaro disclosed the development on Wednesday without identifying its sources. Farming cooperative Sodiaal owns the other hald of Yoplait.

(Reuters) – French cheese maker Bel (FROB.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking into buying private equity group PAI Partners’ 50 percent stake in yoghurt-maker Yoplait, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Wednesday, without identifying its sources.

Unlisted Yoplait, the world’s second-biggest yoghurt-maker after Danone (DANO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), is half owned by PAI Partners and farming cooperative Sodiaal.

“According to several sources, Bel obtained an information file on the framework of the sale process,” Le Figaro wrote.

Bel is holding talks with France’s strategic investment fund (FSI) about a collaborative investment, it added.

Yoplait’s two shareholders rejected in November an unsolicited 1.4 billion-euro ($1.88 billion) bid for the whole of the company from France’s Lactalis.

The sale of Yoplait is expected to draw interest from a wide range of players including emerging market buyers from China and Mexico, private equity players and food giants such as General Mills (GIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). ($1=.7463 Euro)

(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Will Waterman)