Danone has remained mum on rumours that the French food giant is looking to exit its partnership with Wahaha.

According to a report in French newspaper Les Echos, Danone hopes to end its relationship with its Chinese partner "honourably" after a long-running dispute resulted in a schism between the two companies.

Danone has accused Wahaha and its chairman, Zong Qinghou, of establishing parallel manufacturing and distribution of products covered by the joint venture agreement between the two groups.

A spokesperson for Danone told just-food today (22 May) that the company was currently unable to comment publically on this "highly contentious" issue.

Danone and Wahaha had set a March deadline for the dispute to be settled. However, the companies have given no indication that they are nearing agreement.