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Dec 23, 2015

General Mills announces acquisition of Brazilian yogurt maker Carolina

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MINNEAPOLIS -- General Mills (NYSE: GIS) said today that it has acquired Brazilian yogurt maker Carolina Administração e Participações Societárias Ltda., (Carolina), a privately-held dairy products company headquartered in Ribeirão Claro, Paraná, Brazil.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Carolina is a family-owned Brazilian company established in 1969.  A leading regional dairy products producer, Carolina is especially known for its strong regional yogurt brands, Carolina, VeryGurt and Gluck.

Operating primarily in southern and southeastern Brazil, Carolina sources high-quality milk from farmers in the dairy-rich region of Paraná, and markets more than 20 different dairy product lines.  Employing more than 390 people in Ribeirão Claro and across the region, Carolina has significant regional operating, sales and distribution infrastructure.    

“We are delighted to add Carolina’s strong brands and talented team to General Mills’ growing international business,” said Chris O’Leary, General Mills’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer—International.  “Carolina’s strong capabilities in yogurt and dairy will accelerate General Mills’ growth in Brazil. We plan to invest and build on the strong Carolina product portfolio, leveraging our own expertise and the Carolina team to grow and expand in Brazil – a very important market for General Mills International.”

Carolina founder Maurício Araújo said, “We are pleased to see our Carolina brands and businesses joining General Mills. As a family-owned company, it was important to us to join a company that shared Carolina’s values of ‘doing the right thing’ as we continue to grow our business. The global capabilities of General Mills will help our talented and committed Carolina employee team continue to grow our brands and businesses. We look forward to accelerating the growth of Carolina for years to come.”

“Brazil is a strategic market for General Mills, and yogurt is a growing category,” added Olivier Faujour, President, Global Yogurt and Ice Cream for General Mills. “Carolina’s quality brands and products match perfectly with General Mills’ company mission, which is to serve the world by making food people love. General Mills’ global dairy capabilities will complement and build upon Carolina’s already strong reputation for quality products and dairy ‘know-how.’  It should be a perfect fit that will allow us to bring even more delight to Brazilian consumers with superior quality yogurt and dairy products.”

As one of the biggest economies in the world, Brazil is an attractive consumer market.  A majority of its 200 million people now belong to the middle class and domestic consumption is an important economic driver.  Yogurt is also an attractive category within the Brazilian market.  Not only is the yogurt category growing strongly, but there is ample room for additional growth, with Brazilian yogurt consumption per capita still well below other key markets in Latin America.

General Mills continues to invest in Brazil, an important market for General Mills International.  The addition of Yoki Alimentos in 2012 more than doubled General Mills’ annual sales in Latin America.  Its 2011 acquisition of Yoplait International also greatly expanded General Mills’ yogurt portfolio, a business it has continued to expand with the recent entry of Yoplait into China. 

About Carolina: Carolina Administração e Participações Societárias Ltda is a leading regional family-owned Brazilian yogurt and dairy products producer headquartered in Ribeirão Claro, Paraná, marketing more than 20 dairy product lines under brands such as Carolina, VeryGurt and Gluck. 

About General Mills:  General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries around the globe. Its brands include Cheerios, Yoplait, Häagen-Dazs, Yoki, Pillsbury, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Fiber One, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2015 worldwide sales of $17.6 billion. 

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