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General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

said Friday it's in exclusive talks to buy a 50% stake in


, the French yogurt maker.

Negotiations with PAI Partners, which owns the stake, and Sodiaal, the founder of the yogurt brand, are in progress, General Mills said in a statement. General Mills said its binding offer includes a controlling role in the operating company.

General Mills didn't disclose a price for its stake in Yoplait, but


reported the purchase values Yoplait at €1.6 billion ($2.3 billion).

Under the proposed transaction, General Mills said it would partner with Sodiaal in expanding and growing the Yoplait brand and businesses in France, Europe and around the world.

General Mills and Sodiaal have been business partners since the 1970s. General Mills has licensed the Yoplait brand since 1977, and is Yoplait's largest licensee.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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