Danone sells Danish water company Aqua d’Or, settles coffee creamer branding lawsuit with Nestlé

FRANCE – French food company, Danone SA has agreed to sell Aqua d’Or, its water-and-beverage business in Denmark, to local brewing-and-beverage company Royal Unibrew AS. 

Danone, which didn’t disclose financial details of the sale, said the transaction is part of its strategic portfolio review and optimization of capital allocation. 

Launched in 2000, Aqua d’Or, is a leading Scandinavian beverage company with its still bottled water segment being the market leader in Denmark and  Sweden where it also has an established footprint. 

Danone acquired a 49% stake in the company back in 2006 under the then Chairman and CEO Franck Riboud.  

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At the time, Danone had hoped the partnership with Aqua d’Or will allow the group to benefit from its knowledge of the market as well as the distribution channels in the Nordic region.  

The company following a series of executive changes and portfolio optimization drives seems to have lost appetite for the company and is now selling it to Royal Unibrew. 

Coffee creamer lawsuit settled 

Meanwhile, the French Dairy has settled a lawsuit where it was sued by Nestlé USA which was alleging that Danone North America‘s “Silk” brand coffee creamers copy the unique branding and packaging designs of its “Natural Bliss” line.  

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, said its French competitor is modifying its product to “gain an instant marketplace boost” and “freeride on the goodwill” it has built in the category. 

The company, which estimated it spends millions of dollars each year to promote and market Natural Bliss, said Danone is copying parts of its package, including the color and cap of the bottle and light purple color band around the bottle’s neck listing the flavor. 

Several months later, the two parties seem to have come to an amicable out of the court agreement.

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Bloomberg Law, citing federal court filings, reported that Nestlé filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice.  

The publication said Nestlé and Danone told Judge Leonie M. Brinkema that “the parties have settled and resolved the disputes between them and the claims asserted in this action.”  

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