Danone reviewing future of Frucor as takeover speculation mounts

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 1st September 2008

Groupe Danone, in response to speculation that a sale of their Australasian beverage group Frucor in on the horizon, has reported that a review of the company has been initiated.

“Over the last six years, Frucor has played an instrumental role in the development of Danone’s strategy for beverages,” the company said in a statement. “In light of the Group’s recent refocus on purity and naturality within its Waters division, Danone is conducting a thorough review of all potential long-term strategic options for Frucor to ensure ongoing value creation for all its stakeholders.”

The company, which is the second largest beverage company in New Zealand, is one of the market leaders in the energy drink and water sectors of the Australian beverage market. Mizone, V, H2Go and Evian are among their most prominent brands and they also bottle the Pepsi, 7Up and Mountain Dew products in New Zealand.

Reports from New Zealand have suggested that Danone has consulted with JP Morgan about a potential sale, with Coca-Cola Amatil rumoured to be keen on purchasing market leading energy drink ‘V’.

“The review process is still in an exploratory stage and no conclusions can be drawn yet. Conclusion of this process will be communicated in due time,” the Danone statement concluded.

The ACCC is currently monitoring the situation with regard to a possible sale of Frucor’s Australian operations.