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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Nestle Is Likely to Hold On To Perrier for the Time Being

Nestlé SA is likely to keep its unprofitable Perrier mineral-water operations for the time being, despite the company's statement this year that it could sell the brand amid a fight with labor unions.

But selling Perrier to a buyer in the industry wouldn't be easy, analysts say. Nestlé's French rival, Groupe Danone, is a large producer of mineral water and would face regulatory issues. A sale to Coca-Cola Co. or PepsiCo Inc. of the U.S., or to private French beverages company Castel Group looks more likely, but their appetite is probably small given Perrier's unprofitability.

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