Groupe Danone Will Acquire a 50% Stake in Zywiec Zdroj, the Polish Market Leader in Bottled Water

PARIS, April 26, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Groupe DANONE has signed a partnership agreement with shareholders of Zywiec Zdroj for a 50% stake in the company's capital.

Zywiec Zdroj, market leader in bottled water in Poland (ahead of Nestle, Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola), holds a market share of around 15%. The steadily expanding Polish water market is the biggest in Central Europe representing 1.2 billion liters (i.e. a strong potential with an annual per capita consumption of 30 liters).

In 2000, Zywiec Zdroj had a turnover of 35 million Euros, three factories, and employed 280 people.

The new partnership with Zywiec Zdroj will allow Polska Woda (San-Benedetto - Danone Joint Venture), which will launch Primavera and Danone brands, to leverage Zywiec Zdroj's market experience and distribution networks.

The agreement confirms Groupe DANONE's desire to invest in Poland and will enable the group to become leader on its three core activities (Water, Fresh Dairy Products and Biscuits). The deal with Zywiec Zdroj is to be referred to the Polish competition protection authorities for approval.


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