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In a move designed to accelerate strategic growth objectives in the Asian dairy market, Danone revealed today (1 January) that it has taken control of all shares in its Japanese joint venture Calpis Ajinomoto Danone (CAD).

“As a result of our cooperation with Ajinomoto and Calpis, we were able to establish the Danone brand in various dairy segments in Japan,” Emmanuel Faber, EVP, Danone Asia Pacific, said.

Operating under the name Danone Japan, the new organisation will continue to work closely with former partners Ajinomoto and Calpia – Ajinomoto will remain the sole distributor of fresh dairy products in Japan and Calpis will provide various food raw materials.

The new shareholding structure will allow Danone Japan to concentrate on its core competencies, Danone said, indicating its intention to focus on fast growing products and brands with health benefits. Danone said it would increase its investment in marketing in the Japan, where the French dairy group believed there is significant room for category growth.

“The acquisition of all shares is part of Groupe Danone’s strategy to increase its positions in the Asian dairy market. Japan is a priority market for Danone in Asia and the success of our product BIO in Japan illustrates there is room for growth of products that deliver distinct health benefits,” Bernard Hours, executive vice president Fresh Dairy Products, said.

No financial details of the transaction were released.