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Danone: Research on the company structure, government compliance and growth strategy

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The origin of the wildly successful Danone Group dates back to 1996. Delving into the history and the birth of the Danone Group, a fusion of two French glass companies, i.e., the Glaces of Boussois and Verrerie Souchon Neuvesel resulted in the creation of a new company called Boussois Souchon Neuvesel (?BSN').BSN flourished and this was evident when its turnover in 1967 amounted to approximately 150 million euros. This exorbitant turnover was the product of the company's investment in flat glass and glass of packing. Diversification soon occupied a significant part in the Group's vision and mission.

Thus in 1970, the company engaged itself in the new vision and mission by diversifying itself into the food zone. With a great number of acquisitions (?Kronenbourg', ?Evian', etc), Group BSN was soon recognized as the French leader in beer, mineral water and infant food. The year 1973 saw a revolution in the life of the BSN Group. It was in this year that BSN and Gervais Danone (a French food group consisting of dairy products and pastes), amalgamated and emerged as the leading French food group.

Over the decades spanning the 70s and 80s, the BSN Group, having sold its flat glass, focused its development on food and beverages, mainly in Western Europe. Following several strategic acquisitions such as breweries in Belgium, Spain and Italy, Danone in USA, General Biscuit in Europe and Galbani in Italy, the BSN Group became the third biggest European diversified food group and the first in France, Italy and Spain.

In the early 90s, the BSN Group adopted a strategy to consolidate positions gained in previous years, development of synergies in Western Europe, and entry in growth sectors. BSN Group has also laid the groundwork for a strategy of growth outside Western Europe. The activities were developed significantly by taking a large number of acquisitions and joint ventures constitutions. In Western Europe, for example, BSN acquired Volvic in France to strengthen its position in the business of bottled water. Outside Europe, the Group has followed an active policy of acquisitions to expand its business internationally, in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe, as well as on specific markets such as South Africa and the Middle East.

To affirm its status as an international group of food and beverages, and to enhance its global reputation, the BSN Group decided to rename itself the as Danone Group in 1994.

In 1997, Danone undertook a major program focused on three businesses with global priority: Fresh Dairy Products, Beverages, and Biscuits & Cereal Products. The Group's strategy is directed towards focusing on brands that generates most revenues.

? Positions

A global leader in the food industry
- No. 1 worldwide in Fresh Dairy Products
- No. 1 worldwide in packaged water (by volume)
- No. 2 worldwide in Biscuits and Cereal Products

? Distribution of sales

- Fresh Dairy Products (55.1%): Danone, Actimel, Activia, Vitalinea, Dannon
- Packaged Water (26.7%): Evian, Volvic, Wahaha, Aqua
- Biscuits and Cereal Products (18.2%): Lu

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