Paris - French food giant Danone said Friday that its negotiations on a one-billion-dollar takeover bid for Russian food group Wimm-Bill-Dann have been terminated.
Danone and WBD's controlling shareholders "have amicably terminated their discussions," the French group said in a statement.
The French group, whose products include Dannon yogurt, Evian mineral water and LU biscuits, confirmed a report Friday in the British newspaper Financial Times that the talks had broken down.
The Financial Times said that WBD, Russia's leading fruit juice and dairy products business, planned to issue a statement Friday saying that negotiations had been terminated on the acquisition bid, bringing to a halt complex discussions that have been under way for more than two years.
The collapse of the talks was because of disagreements over structure, price, strategy and the future of existing management, the newspaper said, quoting people close to the deal.
The decision was believed to have been taken by WBD shareholders despite continued interest from Danone, and is unrelated to the new climate of economic uncertainty among Russian and foreign investors in the wake of investigations involving oil company Yukos, the newspaper added.
WBD had rejected Danone's proposals to call a temporary halt for two months, but may be willing to restart talks later next year, the FT added. - AFP