Danone quiet on reports of Yakult share disposal discussions

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Danone quiet on reports of Yakult share disposal discussions

Related tags: Dairy giant danone

French dairy giant Danone has declined to comment on reports it is weighing up the sale of its 20% stake in Yakult.

Citing sources close to the matter, Bloomberg reported earlier today that Danone executives have discussed the sale of its 20.02% interest in Yakult Honsha.

It added, however, that internal discussions are at an early stage and no decision has been made by Danone on Yakult.

Yakult shares closed today at ¥6,290 (US$53.55, €42.88) - down 6% on Wednesday's closing price.

Based on today's valuation, Danone's 20.02% stake in Yakult could fetch around US$1.9bn (€1.52bn).

Danone and Yakult unsurprisingly declined to comment on reports.

"We do not comment [on] this subject,"​ a Danone spokesperson told DairyReporter.com. 

Mirroring Danone, a Yakult spokesperson said: "The company does not want to comment on this."

Danone first acquired an interest in Yakult, which manufactures a wide range of fermented probiotic milk drinks, in 2000. 

In 2004, Danone and Yakult entered into a strategic alliance that resulted in the creation of joint ventures in India and Vietnam.

Then after nine years, in April 2013, they scrapped the alliance in favor of a looser "collaborative relationship."

Among the conditions omitted from the 2013 agreement was a clause that prohibited Danone from increasing its 20.02% stake in Yakult.

This decision gave rise to suggestions that Danone was planning to up its interest in the Japanese company.

Eighteen months on, Danone's alleged interest in Yakult appears to have waned.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Dairy Beverages, Danone

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