The dispute between Wahaha Group and France's Groupe Danone
escalated as assets of 10 foreign-registered companies under Wahaha
were frozen at the request of Danone, the French firm confirmed
Last Wednesday, assets of two subsidiaries of China's largest
beverage maker, Mega Source Investments Ltd and Honour Bright
Investments Ltd, were frozen and put into receivership under the
order of the Supreme Court of Samoa in Apia, the 21st Century
Business Herald said yesterday.
On November 9, the High Court of the British Virgin Islands
placed the other eight firms registered there into receivership and
froze their assets until further notice.
The eight firms under Wahaha were Golden Dynasty Enterprise Ltd,
Gold Factory Developments Ltd, Platinum Net Ltd, Sunworld
Enterprises Ltd, Great Base International Ltd, Bountiful Gold
Trading Ltd, Ever Maple Trading Ltd and Wintell Enterprises
Four companies under Danone filed claims against the above
offshore subsidiaries of Wahaha in the British Virgin Islands and
Samoa, the French food giant confirmed yesterday in a statement.
But Danone refused to release further details.
KPMG, an international auditing firm, has been appointed
receiver of each of the British Virgin Islands companies, while
another receiver was appointed for the two Samoan entities.
Under the court orders, the receivers' primary role will be to
identify, locate and secure the assets of these 10 Wahaha
Wahaha declined to comment yesterday.
Industry insiders said Danone's move aims to prevent
Hangzhou-based Wahaha from transferring any assets to foreign
countries during the legal process.
Danone, which teamed up with Wahaha in 1996, filed a lawsuit on
June 4 against its Chinese partner for breaching their agreement by
selling Wahaha-branded beverages without its permission.
Danone sought more than US$100 million for the alleged illegal
(Shanghai Daily November 21, 2007)