April 2, 2010
PARISDanone announced it will start a joint-venture with Chiquita Brands International, Inc. to market fruit-based drinks, based on Chiquitas Just Fruit in a Bottle® platform, in Europe. The joint venture will provide Danone with a platform to explore and develop fruit-based products, adding to its existing portfolio of healthy fresh dairy products and extending its potential for growth in Europe.
Under the terms of the joint-venture agreement, Danone will pay an undisclosed amount in cash to Chiquita for a 51 percent interest in - and management control over - the joint-venture. Chiquita will license its trademark to the new entity. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2010.
Over the last four years, Chiquitas Just Fruit in a Bottle® product has become one of the leading fruit smoothie brands in Europe with distribution in 12 countries, generating approx 20 mln sales in 2009. The new joint-venture, which will be headquartered in Paris, will be the exclusive distributor of Chiquita Just Fruit in a Bottle® and all future Chiquita branded beverage products in Europe.
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