By Ian Neubauer

Cadbury Schweppes and Groupe Danone have denied speculation they are on the verge of selling their Australian beverage businesses, with both saying the units are still under review.

French food giant Groupe Danone, which acquired Frucor in 2002, contradicted a report by The Australian Financial Review that said it had drawn up a shortlist of bidders for Frucor after first round offers closed last week.

Groupe Danone spokesperson, Caroline Vincent, dispatched an email to TheShout yesterday (September 18) confirming the company was still in the exploratory stages of the review process and no conclusions should be drawn at this time.   

And Cadbury Schweppes told just-drinks today (September 19) it had no concrete timetable for the review of its Australian beverage business despite a slew of media reports that claim otherwise.

Local and international drinks companies are monitoring developments, rumours and reports closely, with the potential sales of Frucor or Schweppes expected to redefine the increasingly lucrative non-alcoholic drinks market. 

Potential buyers for the businesses include frontrunner Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA), P&N Beverages and the Kirin Group of Japan, among others.

CCA spokesperson Sally Loane refused to comment on the matter, saying only that the TheShout would be well informed as developments arise.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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