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INDIA: Danone and Nestle to join forces in India?

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Nestle and Danone are in talks with Ramesh Chauhan, former owner of Thums Up, with the intention of setting up a joint venture for mineral water in India, according to the Indian press.No one from either company was available to comment. But it is believed that Chauhan would want to hold a majority share in any joint venture between Danone and Nestle, who have yet to launch any international brands in India.Chauhan sold Thums Up, Citra brands, Gold Spot and Limca to Coca-Cola seven years ago. But talks failed between the two companies for Coke to acquire the Bisleri brand, and Coke launched its own mineral water, Kinley, this summer.just-drinks.com comment:With the advent of Kinley(Coca-Cola) and Aquafina (Pepsi) mineral water, Bisleri is trying to hold on to the market by increasing the investment in his brand distribution. In a recent interview he denied any Joint Venture with multinational companies. As he has done with his ex-brands (Limca, Thums Up, Maaza etc.), he might look for a outright sale. This could be due to severe market onslaught by Kinley and Aquafina pricing aggressively at Rs. 10 per bottle. This aggressive push will be there for a short to medium term basis, and could prove costly for Bisleri.


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