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UPDATE 1-Food group Danone to sell 14 percent stake in Japan's Yakult

From Reuters - February 13, 2018

PARIS (Reuters) - French food group Danone, which is facing investor pressure to boost returns, plans to sell a 14 percent stake in Japanese probiotics maker Yakult, both companies said on Wednesday.

The sale of two-thirds of Danones current Yakult holding could fetch about 1.5 billion euros ($1.86 billion), based on market prices.

Danone, the worlds largest yoghurt maker, said the sale would be carried out via a market transaction initiated by Yakult, which is expected to be settled in March. Yakult also announced a 36 billion Japanese yen ($335.76 million) share buyback program in which Danone will participate.

The French group will retain a 7 percent stake in Yakult.

Along with Swiss food group Nestle and Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever, Danone has been facing investor pressure to boost shareholder returns.

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