The French finance ministry seems to have persuaded Nestle to reopen talks with unions over the industrial conflict at the company's Perrier business.

Nestle management met with French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and now appears ready to resume talks with CGT, France's biggest union, who had blocked an early retirement plan at Perrier by Nestle.

The company responded by saying it may have to consider selling the water business.
"The minister met leaders of Nestle Waters France to unblock the situation created by the right of opposition launched by the CGT which prevented the application of an employee-management agreement," a ministry statement said.
 
"Following this meeting, and at the request of the minister, the management of Nestle Waters France had expressed their willingness to keep the activities of Source Perrier and (bottling plant) Verrerie du Languedoc within the group in the framework of an implementation of the July 29 agreement," it added.