The Serbian government has ordered the country's securities commission to reverse its decision to annul a takeover bid for soft drink producer Knajz Milos by a Danone-led joint venture called Apurna.

Following a governmental meeting, an investigation into the disastrous privatisation process of the soft drinks group, which may well delay the final outcome for some time to come yet, has been launched.

"The government has decided that the Interior Ministry and the prosecutor urgently take all legal measures to determine if there had been any element of a criminal act in the course of privatisation of Knjaz Milos," Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica told reporters at a midnight news conference.