Newsletter
Weather
Community
English home Forum Photo Gallery Features Newsletter Archive   About US Help Site Map
China
World
Opinion
Business
Sci-Edu
Culture/Life
Sports
Photos
 Services
- Newsletter
- Online Community
- China Biz Info
- News Archive
- Feedback
- Voices of Readers
- Weather Forecast
 RSS Feeds
- China 
- Business 
- World 
- Sci-Edu 
- Culture/Life 
- Sports 
- Photos 
- Most Popular 
- FM Briefings 
 Search
 About China
- China at a glance
- China in brief 2004
- Chinese history
- Constitution
- Laws & regulations
- CPC & state organs
- Ethnic minorities
- Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping




Home >> Business
UPDATED: 15:30, June 06, 2007
Danone takes firms to court in US
font size    

SHANGHAI: French food and beverage major Groupe Danone SA yesterday said it has filed a lawsuit in the United States against two companies involved in its dispute with its joint ventures partner Wahaha, China's largest beverage company.

Accusing its Chinese partner of illegally using the Wahaha brand without consent, Danone took Ever Maple Trading Ltd and Hangzhou Hongsheng Beverage Ltd, and two people connected with the companies, to the Superior Court of California's County of Los Angeles on Monday, Danone said in a statement yesterday.

Hangzhou Wahaha Food & Beverage Sales Ltd, accused by Danone of selling products competing with those produced by the joint ventures, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hangzhou Hongsheng, which is controlled by the British Virgin Islands-registered Ever Maple, according to the statement.

The lawsuit came after Danone took the matter to an international arbitration body and as its negotiations with Wahaha seem to be going nowhere.

"Hangzhou Wahaha Food and Beverage Sales is illegally selling products which are the same as those sold by Wahaha joint ventures and is making unlawful use of the joint ventures' distributors and suppliers," Danone said in the statement.

The lawsuit is aimed at curbing the collective conspiracy of the defendants, who might adopt devious measures to damage the joint ventures' relations with customers and their business prospects, the world's largest yogurt maker said.

Danone and Wahaha set up the first group of five joint ventures in 1996 under an agreement that bans the Chinese partner from selling products that compete with those made by the ventures or using the well-known Wahaha brand without Danone's nod.

But the Paris-based company recently claimed it had found that Zong Qinghou, founder of Wahaha, had set up companies outside the joint ventures to produce competing products.

Ever Maple, launched in January 2003 with Zong's daughter as legal person, is one of a handful of offshore companies that invested in the non-joint ventures.

Hangzhou Hongsheng was founded in October 2003 with 1.5 million yuan and 50 employees. Zong's daughter held the position as legal person in this organization as well.

Zong had caused a flutter in business circles by accusing his French partner of trying to acquire its assets beyond joint ventures for 4 billion yuan and called for protection of the domestic brand.

Danone had threatened to adopt legal proceedings against its Chinese partner. The company and its subsidiaries have also proposed eight arbitration applications to the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

Source: China Daily


Comments on the story Comment on the story Recommend to friends Tell a friend Print friendly Version Print friendly format Save to disk Save this



   Recommendation
- Text Version
- RSS Feeds
- China Forum
- Newsletter
- People's Comment
- Most Popular
 Related News
- Wahaha accuses Danone of forcing takeover with lawsuit

- Danone turns up the heat

- Danone strikes back at Wahaha

- Repairing relations best choice for venture

- Fight between beverage giants spills out in public

- Danone threatens legal action against Wahaha

- Relations turn sour between Chinese and French food companies

Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

Dic

Versions:
Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved