The planned sale of Colorado's WhiteWave Foods Co. to European food giant Danone SA has been pushed back at least into next year.

Denver-based WhiteWave (Nasdaq: WWAV) now projects the deal, valued at $12.5 billion including debt, to be completed in the first quarter of 2017 rather than late this year as previously announced.

In a statement, WhiteWave said the merger partners are still awaiting "necessary regulatory approvals."

"The company and Danone continue to work with the relevant entities to obtain regulatory clearance and approval," WhiteWave said. "The company currently expects closing to occur in the first quarter of 2017; however, there can be no assurance regarding the timing of receipt of regulatory approvals or the completion of the merger."

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