Berri has announced a change of executive chairman. The Australian fruit juice group said today that Doug Shears, who is also the controlling shareholder of Berri, has stepped down from the position to be replaced by Brian Gray, a director of the company since 1997.

Berri warned, however, that the move is not a sign that a public float of the company was imminent.

Shears, who has held the position of chairman at Berri for the last seven years, had originally intended being chairman for only five.

Speaking to Australian Financial Review, the company's chief executive Alison Watkins said that a float was one of the options to consider, but no talks about the matter were being held at board level.

Last year, a proposed takeover of Berri by Coca-Cola Amatil was blocked by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Berri has about 50% of the Australian fruit juice market.