Danone sells water JV stake to Bright Food

SHANGHAI, July 14 Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:12am BST

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SHANGHAI, July 14 (Reuters) - French foodmaker Danone has signed an agreement with Bright Food Group to sell its 50 percent stake in a water company to a Bright Food Group unit, Bright Food said on Thursday.

Danone had a joint venture with Shanghai Maling Aquarius , a unit of Bright Food Group, to operate the Shanghai Aquarius brand in China. Danone will sell its stake in the joint venture to another Bright Food unit, said Pan Jianjun, a Bright Food spokesman. Pan declined to disclose the financial details of the deal.

Danone sold its 23 percent stake in China's Huiyuan Juice last July for around 200 million euros to focus its water division on natural mineral and spring water-based beverages.

Danone could not be immediately reached for comment.

In 2007, Danone was involved in a high-profile legal tussle with Chinese beverage maker Wahaha Group over what it said was a violation of the two firms' joint venture agreement. The matter was settled in 2009. (Reporting by David Lin and Melanie Lee; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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