French food group Groupe Danone and US soft-drinks giant Coca-Cola are close to a deal to make the beverage company the licensed importer and distributor of Danone's Evian mineral water in North America, people familiar with the discussions told The Wall Street Journal.
Reuters reports that the same sources had said that Coca-Cola was also looking at the possibility of acquiring Danone's US home and office water-delivery business. Talks on a possible purchase of Danone's McKesson unit, which offers home and office bottled-water delivery mainly on the West Coast, are preliminary and may not lead to a deal, these people cautioned. They also added that details on a pact for Coke to import and distribute Evian are currently being worked out. Danone has held talks about Evian and other parts of its US water business with UK drinks and confectionery company Cadbury Schweppes.
Spokespeople for both Coke and Danone declined to comment and a representative for Cadbury, based in London , could not be reached for comment, added the report.