AUS: Danone reviews Frucor drinks arm
French food giant Danone has confirmed that its Australasian soft drinks arm, Frucor, is under review, following speculation that a sale is imminent.
Danone announced on Friday (29 August) that it was conducting a "thorough review of all potential long-term strategic options for Frucor".
It said the move came "in light of the group's [Danone's] recent refocus on purity and naturality within its waters division", but added the review was only at an "exploratory stage".
The news means that both Danone and Cadbury Schweppes are reviewing their soft drinks businesses in the Australasia region, offering potential pickings for rivals.
Speculation that Danone intends to sell Frucor, which includes the V energy drink, increased last month following reports that the French group had recruited investment bank JP Morgan to advise on a deal.
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has been consistently touted as a potential buyer.
However, CCA managing director Terry Davis told the Australian Financial Review last week that the soft drinks bottler would be interested in the Australian drinks arm of Cadbury Schweppes, should it be put up for sale.
Cadbury has begun a review of the business, which is expected to be complete by the end of the year. One analyst told just-drinks that "it looks like it's on the block".
Danone's bottled water division emerged as the group's achilles heel in 2008, with some analysts suggesting the French giant would consider off-loading some of the business if it could....
Cadbury officially put its Australian soft drinks business up for sale this week following a strategic review of the business....
The economic downturn could not have come at a worse time for the bottled water industry. Not only is the category battling to win the consumer's pennies and cents, but it has also had to battle again...
Brown-Forman said today that Mark McCallum has been named to succeed James L. Bareuther as the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer, from 1 May....
Falling bottled water sales in 2008 provided the blip in Nestle's sales and profit rise for its full-year....
French bottled water giant Groupe Danone has said that it will make its Evian and Volvic brands "plastics neutral" in the UK....
Coca-Cola Amatil has reported a 10% rise in profits for 2008 and above average volume growth in its core Australian drinks division for the first six weeks of 2009....
Groupe Danone, the French water and dairy giant, has reported a 15% rise in net profit for 2008 and predicted a further rise in 2009, despite recession in key markets....
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