Groupe Danone has signalled its interest in entering the fresh dairy market in India – but declined to comment on reports of talks over a possible tie-up in the country.


The French group refused to be drawn on Indian reports that senior Danone executives had held meetings with Dynamix Dairy Industries, a unit of US firm Schreiber Foods.


“We are interested in the fresh dairy market in India but we are not going to comment on these rumours,” a Danone spokesperson told just-food today (17 September) from Paris. “We are number one in fresh dairy around the world, so it is quite normal that Danone has shown an interest in the market.”


Danone already operates in the probiotic segment in India through a local venture with Japan’s Yakult.


Danone, meanwhile, indicated that more talks could soon be held over the future over a second of the company’s ventures in India, Britannia Industries.


Danone CEO Franck Riboud and Nusli Wadia, the head of Indian venture partner the Wadia Group, recently met in London to hold what the Danone spokesperson termed as “friendly discussions”.


The spokesperson hinted that more talks would soon be held over the future of Britannia, although there is no set timetable for discussions.


Danone is embroiled in a long-running spat with Wadia over Britannia Industries, India’s largest biscuit maker.


Wadia has accused Danone of violating the trademark agreements drawn up as part of the venture, claims that have led to speculation that the French food group Danone could sell its 25.5% stake in Britannia.