Danone plans to renegotiate two of its joint water ventures, according to press reports. Agence France Presse (AFP) said today (2 November) that the French company is looking to renegotiate its JV with Coca-Cola in the US and Suntory by June next year. The move follows falls in sales of bottled water.

At a meeting of analysts on Friday (29 October), Danone's chief financial officer Emmanuel Faber said that US sales of the company's Evian brand bottled water will be "less than US$100m," down from US$220m four years ago.

In 2002 Danone signed a deal with Coca-Cola which states that the US company, which owns 51% of the JV, would have to pay compensation to Danone if certain growth objectives are not met, AFP reported. But this will probably not be pursued.

"Coca-Cola is not in the business of paying penalties or Danone in that of receiving them," Faber said.

Faber added that, with its US JV with Suntory, a lull in the growth of sales in the region meant that "all options are open" on the deal, although he ruled out an increase in Danone's 47% stake.

"We will not become the full owners of this business until the water market stabilises," he told AFP.