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Britannia may flash preemptive rights to avoid unwanted partners

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With Britannia Industries all set to separate from Groupe Danone, the Wadias are likely to flash ‘preemptive rights clause’ to stop the French giant selling its 25.1 per cent stake to an undesirable partner.

The move comes in handy for the Nusli Wadia group to block the entry of someone they do not wish to partner with. However, such clause has to stand the scrutiny of law, and Danone may dispute it in the court of law.

Danone will offer the stake first to the Wadias, but only at a particular price, and if both fail to reach a consensus, Danone may look at offloading it to an outsider if it failed to reach a consensus with the Indian partner.

Last month, Danone sold its global biscuits portfolio to US giant Kraft Foods Inc. for over 5.3 billion euro, but that deal did not include its investments in Britannia.

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