Danone has agreed to sell its 22.98% shareholding in China Huiyuan Juice Group

Danone has agreed to sell its 22.98% shareholding in China Huiyuan Juice Group

Danone has agreed to sell its 22.98% shareholding in China Huiyuan Juice Group to Hong-Kong-based private equity firm SAIF Partners for EUR200m (US$260m).

Danone said today (28 July) that the deal values Huiyuan, which has around a 40% share of China's juice market, at HK$6.00 (US$0.77) per share.

The French drinks and dairy giant said the sale will allow it to focus the activities of its waters division in China on natural mineral and spring water-based beverages.

“With a strong commitment to accelerate its development in the Chinese market, Danone will continue to focus on the growth opportunities of its four core categories in China,” the company said.

These categories are fresh dairy, waters, baby nutrition and medical nutrition.

Danone yesterday recorded an increase in first-half profits as its waters division posted “solid” sales growth.

The group originally agreed to sell its stake in Huiyuan to The Coca-Cola Co last year. However, Coca-Cola's bid to take control of Huiyuan was blocked by China's Ministry of Commerce.