US soft drinks giant PepsiCo is keen to acquire in France, according to local reports.

In an interview with La Tribune newspaper yesterday (20 July), the new head of Pepsi's French operations, Vincent Prolongeau, said that the group was keen to buy in the country, but would not be making any hostile bids.

Prolongeau's comments follow speculation last year that Pepsi was looking at buying French food and drinks group Danone.

"The group is working on projects for external growth in Europe and more particularly in France," Prolongeau told the paper. "Our priority is to acquire products that have a nutritional profile that is in line with the new consumer demands in this area.

He added: "On top of that, as is our house policy, we will not act in a hostile way."

Prolongeau pointed out, however, that the company was not looking to buy water companies in France. "The market is too concentrated between the two big global players (Danone and Nestle) for us to be able to find a place," he told La Tribune. "But if we do not plan to attack the mineral water market, we do not preclude ourselves from launching drinks in new segments."

Rumours that Pepsi was interested in buying Danone reached a peak in July last year when the French government threatened to intervene should the French company look close to falling into foreign hands.