Bright Food Group has emerged as the front-runner to buy a 50% stake in Yoplait – after last year coming close to buying United Biscuits.
Shanghai-based Bright is reportedly the highest bidder for PAI Partners’ share in the yoghurt brand, which is co-owned by French farmers’ co-operative Sodiaal.
Bright was in the headlines last year after launching a bid for UB. The Hula Hoops maker is co-owned by PAI and fellow private equity group Blackstone.
Although a deal for UB seemed imminent, the sale collapsed in October. No firm bidders have since come forward.
Swiss giant Nestlé and US group General Mills are also reportedly among the contenders to buy PAI’s share in Yoplait.
Bargain hunting: buyers eye cut-price M&A bonanza (5 February 2011)
Lactalis bids to keep Yoplait in French hands (18 November 2010)
United Biscuits sale to Bright facing collapse (27 October 2010)