General Mills acquires Brazilian food company Yoki

US food company General Mills Inc (NYSE:GIS) said on Thursday it had agreed to purchase family-owned Brazilian sector firm Yoki Alimentos SA to expand its business in the South American country.

The takeover will provide the US company with the capabilities and geographic scale needed to step up its growth in the attractive Brazilian consumer market, General Mill’s executive vice president and COO Chris O’Leary commented.

The buyer intends to concentrate on building the Yoki and Kitano-branded product portfolio, growing its existing operations in Brazil and introducing more brands over time, he added.

The deal is conditional and is seen to be completed during the first quarter of General Mills’ fiscal 2013, which starts on 28 May 2012. Its financial terms were not disclosed. The purchaser estimates that the transaction will more than double its annual sales in Latin America to about USD1bn (EUR795m).

Yoki was founded in 1960 and currently markets over 600 items under nine brands throughout the country. The food products that trade under its Yoki and Kitano brands maintain leading market positions in categories like snacks, convenient meals, basic foods and seasonings.

The firm has multiple production facilities and a national retail distribution network with a a headcount of over 5,000. last year, it generated sales of BRL1.1bn (USD536.9m/EUR426.9m) on an IFRS basis.