CHINA: Danone, Wahaha settle dispute
Danone and Wahaha announced today (30 September) that they have agreed to settle their differences, following years of court battles across the globe.
Danone has agreed to sell its stake in Danone-Wahaha joint ventures to Chinese partners, ending all legal proceedings, in a deal that involved diplomatic efforts by both the Chinese and French governments.
Financial details surrounding the settlement were not disclosed.
The French food and drink giant signed a joint venture deal with Wahaha in 1996, but relations soured after Danone accused its partner of illegally copying products that the two firms' had agreed would only be sold within the venture.
Franck Riboud, Danone CEO and chairman, said today: "The collaboration between Danone and Wahaha helped to build a strong and respected leader in the Chinese beverage industry. We are confident that Wahaha will continue to be highly successful under its future management guidance.
"Danone has a longstanding commitment to China where it has been present since 1987 and we are keen to accelerate the success of our Chinese activities."
Wahaha Group chairman Zong Qinhou defended the reputation of Chinese companies. "China is an open country. Chinese people are broad-minded people. Chinese companies are willing to cooperate and grow with the world's leading peers on the basis of equality and reciprocal benefit," he said.
In June, Danone dismissed a claim by Wahaha that the Chinese group had "won" the dispute.
While the economy dominated the news agenda in 2009, the coming year will see renewed pressure on soft drinks companies in areas such as sugar content, advertising and functional ingredients. Ben Coop...
Coca-Cola France president Christian Polge has been elected head of French soft drinks trade body, the Syndicat National des Boissons Rafraîchissantes (SNBR)....
- Craft spirits shake-out will be just the beginning
- How Treasury is rewriting the rule book - Comment
- Drinkable yogurt - The next drinks opportunity
- Coca-Cola India suspends bottling operations
- Has Diet Coke passed its sell-by date? - Comment
- Diageo brands need "fixing and nurturing" - TWE
- SAB shareholders granted AB InBev vote split
- Diageo's Guinness Rye Pale Ale - NPD
- Craft Brew Alliance poised for AB InBev takeover?
- Pernod Ricard wins Ron Matusalem 'Cuba' legal row
- The Next Seven Big Beverage Markets
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Carlsberg AS (CARL B) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Adultifying Soft Drinks; Capitalizing on rising adult demand for non-alcoholic beverages