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• French dairy company Danone announced that it will sell its Stonyfield business to Lactalis, another French company, for $875 million. The sale is being executed to assuage US regulators' antitrust concerns about Danone's recent purchase of White Wave.

Lactalis, the Wall Street Journal writes, "based in the town of Laval, about 175 miles southwest of Paris, is a family-owned company whose cheese, milk and other dairy products are sold under well-known brands such as President and Bridel. It said it has 75,000 employees spread across 85 countries."

• The Wall Street Journal reports that once private equity group Sycamore Partners completes its $6.9 billion acquisition of Staples, it intends to split the company into three as a way of funding the acquisition.

According to the story, "The plan calls for Staples to be divided into three separately financed entities ... U.S. retail; Canadian retail; and corporate-supply businesses. The three groups will remain under the same corporate umbrella.

"The move is designed to make the leveraged buyout of Staples, announced Wednesday, an easier sell to bond and loan investors whose appetite for retail names has soured as the industry’s prospects have waned. Their appetite will be crucial to financing the deal, the largest LBO announced this year."

• The San Antonio Express-News reports that Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard has finalized its $4.4 billion merger with CST Brands Inc ... The CST acquisition is a big get for Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard’s fleet of Circle K convenience stores. After selling off 229 stores to satisfy antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Canada, Couche-Tard will have gained more than 1,300 stores in both countries via the sale, expanding its footprint to almost 9,500 locations including 666 in Texas."
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