Danone reluctant to conduct hostile takeover bid for Yakult


French food giant Danone is not planning to launch a hostile takeover bid for Yakult Honsha Co., although it wants to increase its already sizeable stake in the lactic drink maker, a top Danone executive said.

John Davison, president of Danone’s dairy products division, told a news conference Thursday in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, that a hostile takeover is not how the conglomerate operates.

Danone currently owns a roughly 20 percent stake in Yakult and has been involved in drawn-out talks with the firm over increasing its shareholding. Yakult, seeking to maintain its independence, has been resistant to the proposal.

Last November, Yakult extended the deadline for concluding the negotiations, which may be prolonged even further. Davison stressed that Danone respects Yakult’s management, and noted the beverage maker is doing well under a different business model from Danone’s.

Separately, Danone Japan Co. announced Thursday that it plans to double the annual production capacity of its yogurt factory in Tatebayashi to 200,000 tons by 2022.

J:COM bought up

Sumitomo Corp. and KDDI Corp. said they have successfully completed a tender offer for all shares in Jupiter Telecommunications Co., the nation’s biggest cable TV service provider.

Officials from the two companies said Thursday that J:COM will become a KDDI subsidiary as of next Wednesday.

KDDI, which owns a controlling stake in the country’s second-largest cable TV operator, Japan Cablenet Ltd., is seeking with Sumitomo to integrate the management of the two cable service providers.

KDDI and Sumitomo initiated the tender offer in late February. The two companies said they plan to delist J:COM from the Jasdaq market of the Osaka Securities Exchange this summer, with an eye to integrating the firm and Japan Cablenet in the fall.