Weight Watchers, Groupe Danone form Chinese j.v.

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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NEW YORK — Weight Watchers International, Inc. and Groupe Danone have signed a joint venture agreement establishing a weight management business in China.

"We are excited to partner with Groupe Danone for the expansion of our weight management approach into the Chinese marketplace," said David Kirchhoff, president and chief executive officer of Weight Watchers. "This new joint venture will facilitate and drive Weight Watchers entry into one of the world’s key markets, leveraging the unique strengths of each company. We believe that Groupe Danone is the ideal partner for Weight Watchers with its experience in China, its knowledge of Chinese consumers and its mission to bring healthy food to the world’s population."

The joint venture will be 51% owned by Weight Watchers and 49% owned by Groupe Danone and is expected to begin retail operations within the next year.

"For Groupe Danone in China, this joint venture is completely consistent with the commitment of Danone to bring to the Chinese consumers products and solutions with a positive impact on their health," said Jacques Vincent, vice-president of the board of Groupe Danone. "This joint venture will offer Chinese consumers a world famous approach dedicated to eating right and healthy living."

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