General Mills has swooped to acquire a 50% share of French yoghurt brand Yoplait.

The deal is thought to be worth €800m.

The US group beat rival bidders including China’s Bright Food Group to acquire the stake from private equity fund PAI Partners and French dairy co-operative Sodiaal.

"General Mills will partner with Sodiaal in expanding and growing the Yoplait brand and businesses in France, Europe and around the world," said the company, which has has held the US license to Yoplait since 1977.

The move is the latest in a string of occasions when Bright has lost out in a race to acquire a major overseas. Last year it pulled out of a deal to buy United Biscuits from its private equity owners.

Read more
Bright Food is front runner to buy PAI’s Yoplait stake (2 March 2011)
Bargain hunting: buyers eye cut-price M&A bonanza (5 February 2011)