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Valio Ltd and The Dannon Company, Inc. Sign a License Agreement Providing Exclusive Access to Technology and for the Use of Probiotic LGG(TM) in USA

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan 22, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Valio Ltd., leading innovative dairy company from Finland, and The Dannon Company, Inc., USA, announced today that the companies have completed a licensing agreement that is expected to continue to fuel growth of the rapidly growing probiotic fresh dairy product market in the USA.

Dannon will add the probiotic culture Lactobacillus GG (LGG(TM)) to its existing Danimals(TM) line of lowfat yogurt cups and drinks made specifically for kids. The products were introduced beginning in January 2007.

The LGG(TM) probiotic that is added to the Danimals products has been developed by the Finnish dairy and culture developer, Valio, and has the best documented science of all probiotics worldwide. Valio introduced products with LGG(TM) for the first time in 1990 in Finland and has been marketing a wide range of probiotic products under the Valio Gefilus(R) brand in Valio's home market area consisting of Finland, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Valio has also licensed rights to LGG(TM) to more than 15 dairy companies around the world.

Valio's Research Director, Senior VP Professor Tiina Mattila-Sandholm added that, "The properties of Lactobacillus GG are described in more than 350 scientific publications and the probiotic benefits are well documented. Moreover, LGG(TM) is consumed by millions of consumers in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America with great success already for more than ten years." This agreement and exclusive relationship between the companies will open the fast growing US yogurt market for the probiotic LGG(TM).

Following the resounding success of the launch of Activia(TM) in the USA in 2006, The Dannon Company will also be expanding its portfolio of probiotic fresh dairy foods with functional benefits in addition to great taste and basic nutrition. The three products to be introduced during 2007 - DanActive(TM) dairy drink, Activia(TM) Light nonfat yogurt and Danimals(R) with LGG(TM) drinks and lowfat yogurt - are part of Dannon's growing portfolio of high health brands that deliver added probiotic benefits to consumers who enjoy them.

About Valio Ltd
Valio Ltd is the biggest dairy business in Finland by net turnover 1.6 billion euros. Valio is the market leader in all key dairy product groups in Finland and a world-class pioneer as the developer of functional foods. Valio Ltd is owned by 28 dairy cooperatives which have about 13 000 milk farmers as members.

Valio Ltd has 15 production plants in Finland, 2 in Estonia and one cheese packaging department in Belgium. Subsidiaries lie in Russia, Sweden, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and USA. In China Valio has a representative office. International operations account for one third of Valio net turnover.

Valio Research and Development has a fine tradition. Nobel Prize winner A. I. Virtanen worked as the director of Valio Laboratory from 1921-1970. Valio licenses the patented probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus GG, Evolus technology to lower the blood pressure and technology for producing lactose free milk products.
More company information at

About The Dannon Company
The Dannon Company is America's founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, and West Jordan, UT. The company produces and sells approximately 100 different types of flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products. Dannon is owned by Groupe Danone, one of the world's leading producers of packaged foods and beverages, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone.

With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, The Dannon Company is committed to encouraging healthy eating and living and strives to innovate with one goal in mind: to create foods for families and individuals with their health and enjoyment in mind. For more information, please visit

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