Danone Says Na Na Na to Wahaha

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 0:50


Media outlets are now reporting that Danone has filed a lawsuit against two individuals and two organizations related to the Wahaha. It has been almost 6 weeks since we originally posted Wahaha Says Na Na Na to Danone, and after his original nationalistic public relations campaign, it appears that Wahaha’s CEO will soon have his day in court.

For those that missed the original volley, Wahaha and Danone are joint venture partners with Danone owning 51% of the total… and through this venture, Wahaha was not allowed to take new products using the Wahaha name to the market without prior approval of Danone.

According to rumor, Danone hired third party groups to investigate after growing suspicious that Wahaha may have been operating outside of the agreement, and the rest is history.. Wahaha staff boycott Danone takeover attempt Danone may take Chinese partner to court

Siwei Zhong did an excellent job when this initially broke in his Seeking Alpha post Danone Gives Wahaha A Hard Trademark Lesson of dissecting the partnership, the recent blowout, and how this could be a lesson for others… and I highly suggest readers visit that post.

Given the last 6 weeks of silence, my guess is that the Wahaha’s hand was firmly in the cookie jar, and that the PR campaign was his only move. That once caught, his only bargaining chip was that he would do everything possible to make Danone’s ability to takeover the remaining shares either impossible… or create a situation where they would not want to take the shares over (employee revolt.. consumer backlash.. etc).

While the specifics of the issue have yet to be fully flushed out into the media (how much money was involved and how long the extracurricular classes were going on for), I am sure that we are in for a heated battle.

Stay tuned for more.

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One Response to “Danone Says Na Na Na to Wahaha”

  1. Danone vs. Wahaha: A Battle for the Ages? | All Roads Lead To China says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    […] to court in California (I am still trying to work out the jurisdictional precedent there – see Danone Says Na Na Na to Wahaha for full […]