Japanese probiotic drinks manufacturer Yakult Honsha Co. has reportedly said it does not want top stakeholder Danone to lift its shareholding on concerns it might affect its independence.

According to local reports last month, Danone was in talks with Yakult to increase its stake from 20% to around 28%.

However, at Yakult’s financial results briefing last week, Yoshihiro Kawabata, the executive in charge of Yakult’s overseas business, said the company did not want Danone to lift its holding, according to Reuters.

“We are currently having amicable discussions, so I do not expect that to happen,” Kawabata said in response to a question about what Yakult would do if Danone began to increase its stake.

“But for the sake of argument, from the perspective of our independence, it would be difficult to maintain our ties if that did happen,” he added, according to the publication.

On the release of its full-year results, the company booked an increase in net profits.

For the 12 months to the end of March, net profit edged up 0.9% to JPY13.29bn (US$166.5m). Operating profits increased 2% to reach JPY20.82bn.

Sales in the period amounted to JPY312.55bn, a 2.2% increase on the prior-year.

The company has forecast 2013 full-year net profit of JPY15m, an operating profit of JPY21m and sales of around JPY330m.

Click here to view the full earnings release.