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Yogurt Maker Selling Stock In China's Bright Dairy

Move by France's Groupe Danone will sever the company's 15-year alliance with the Shanghai-based food conglomerate.

SHANGHAI, China (AP) — French yogurt maker Groupe Danone SA said Tuesday it is selling its stake in China's Bright Dairy & Food, ending a 15-year alliance with the Shanghai-based food conglomerate.
A joint venture with Chinese beverage maker Wahaha Group has been dogged by conflicts over ownership and management issues — including Danone's business ties with local competitors.
Danone plans to sell its 20.01 percent stake in Bright Dairy for $127 million (euro89 million) to Shanghai Milk Group and to S.I. Food Products Holdings Ltd., with each company buying 104.24 million shares.
The deal, which requires regulatory approval, will increase the stakes in Bright Dairy held by Milk Group and S.I. Food to 35.18 percent each, up from 25.17 percent each.
''The relevant business cooperation agreements and the intellectual property license agreement between the two parties (Danone and Bright) will be terminated, as well,'' Danone said in a statement.
Danone and Bright set up a 50-50 yogurt joint venture in 1992.
The French dairy goods maker also has a joint venture with China's biggest milk producer, China Mengniu Dairy Co., to make yogurt.