The French food and drinks group, Danone, has dismissed the idea that it will launch a takeover bid for the Japanese dairy drinks group, Yakult Honsha Co. Ltd. In April, Danone raised its participation in Yakult from 5% to 19%.

"We developed ties with this company three years ago. We have no intention of launching a takeover bid," said Danone's finance director, Emmanuel Faber. "With almost 20% of the capital, we have a solid cooperation base but we haven't agreed on a concrete partnership for the future. There's no urgency. We'll see."

Faber later said that its 19% in Yakult was "neither a floor nor a threshold", adding that the participation "gives us the capacity to influence, if we wish, certain elements of strategy."