Danone has announced it has submitted a public offer to acquire part of the capital of Knjaz Milos , the leading player in Serbia's bottled water market.

The French giant has not disclosed details of its offer but Les Echos reports that Danone's bid centres on acquiring 30% of Knjaz Milos' capital for €13m.

Knjaz Milos, which had 2003 sales of around €70m in 2003, accounts for 60% of the local  market which totals 471 million litres annually. Its main brands are Knjaz Milos and Aqua Viva.

The Serbian state currently holds 41.3% of the company's capital but has no voting rights. It is supporitng a bid from Serbian basketball star, Vlade Divac.

Other bidders are London-based hedge fund, Ashmore Investment Management, Serbian brewery Pivovarna Lasko, UK fund Salford and offshore fund FPP Balkan.

Knjaz Milos' shareholders have until September 19 to accept one of the offers.