French food company Danone may raise its stake in Japanese drink maker Yakult Honsha to 28 per cent from 20 per cent and has asked the company to put a Danone official in a senior managing position, Kyodo News reported on Saturday.
Discussions between the two sides have been hampered by concern at Yakult that giving the French firm too much influence over company decisions would give it too much power over decisionmaking, Kyodo said, citing an unidentified source.
But it also said that Danone, which first invested in Yakult in 2000, could launch a tender offer bid to acquire up to 35 per cent of Yakult if talks fail to reach agreement, giving it a controlling stake in the company by allowing it to veto board decisions. Paris-based Danone declined to comment on Saturday on the report.
When asked to update analysts on Danone’s shareholder agreement with Yakult, Danone’s Chief financial Officer Pierre-Andre Terisse had said on April 17: “It’s a long-term investment which basically we have no reason not to stick to,”