Danone has made further progress in its bid to take control of New Zealand drinks group, Frucor Beverages, raising its holding from 49.3% to 54.9%. The new acceptances follow the decision last week by the Frucor board to recommend the Danone deal, which values Frucor at NZ$294 million, to shareholders.

Although the French food and drinks giant#;s NZ$2.35 (US$0.96) per share offer, which closes on Friday, is conditional on gaining 90% of the stock, Danone has not ruled out simply assuming majority control. Further shareholders, principally the arbitrage funds which control about 30% of Frucor, producers of the “V” energy drink, are expected to accept the Danone offer in order to avoid an anticipated decline in its share price should the bid founder.