Nestle will almost certainly sell Perrier in the next few months, according to press reports. The French weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche made the claim yesterday.

The report cited Richard Girardot, chief executive of Nestle Waters, who said: "The most likely solution is that we will sell Perrier."

Last week, Nestle Waters France announced that it had decided to shelve plans for industrial re-organisation due to opposition from the majority labour union, the CGT. The company had hoped to shed 1,047 jobs by 2007 using an early retirement package.