Round Up: Danone, Coke end US bottled water venture

Related tags Joint venture Evian Bottled water Danone

Coca-Cola will gain the right to sell Evian in the US after buying
out Danone from their joint venture, while Czech brewer Budejovicky
Budvar scores another victory in the Budweiser trademark war with
Anheuser Busch, reports Chris Mercer.

Danone announced that Coca-Cola would buy its 49 per cent stake in their American bottled water joint venture, CCDA, handing Coke the right to distribute and sell Danone's iconic Evian brand in the US.

Coca-Cola has agreed to spend 20 per cent extra on promoting Evian over the next five years as part of the firm's new, aggressive marketing strategy and its plan to push non-carbonated soft drinks harder.

The deal, agreed for an undisclosed sum, also gives Coca-Cola sole power to sell the joint venture's biggest water brand, Dannon.

Yet the firm's plans for Dannon remain unclear, with the brand considered a direct competitor to Coke's own bottled water brand, Dasani.

Neither firm has commented on the split, which has come fairly abruptly considering both companies have ploughed hundreds of millions of dollars into CCDA since forming the venture in 2002.

Budvar wins battle but the war continues Small-time Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar has beaten US beer giant Anheuser Busch for the right to sell its beer under the Budweiser brand in Cambodia, after winning an appeal in the country's Supreme Court.

The trademark war between the two firms has been rumbling across the world for decades, yet this latest ruling follows others by South Korea and the European Union last year allowing Budvar to register the Budweiser trade name alongside Anheuser Busch.

The Czech brewer has long argued it has the sole right to the Budweiser name because only its beer is made in the town after which the beer is named.

A-B, on the other hand, holds the registered trademark for Budweiser in most countries, and argues that this gives it the sole right to the name.

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