GLG and Weider resolve stevia dispute, end partnership

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Glg life tech Stevia Glg

GLG Life Tech and Weider Global Nutrition have agreed to drop lawsuits against each other and continue selling their stevia-derived sweeteners separately, dissolving their Sweet Naturals partnership.

GLG Life Tech and Weider Global Nutrition (WGN) struck a deal in September 2008, ahead of FDA GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status being achieved for stevia extracts in food and drinks in December that year. The partnership, called GLG Weider Sweet Naturals Corp (or Sweet Naturals), was intended to take advantage of Weider’s expertise in marketing and distribution of nutritional products, and GLG Life Tech’s knowledge of stevia. The joint business initially focused on tabletop stevia sweeteners before moving into food ingredients following FDA GRAS.

However, Weider Global Nutrition started legal proceedings in a British Columbia Supreme Court on November 4 last year, claiming that by setting up a separate sales team GLG had breached Sweet Naturals’ shareholders’ agreement, and accused it of misrepresentations by GLG and its chairman/CEO, and of a breach of trust.

GLG argued that it remained free to pursue its own business, and that WGN’s assertion that it was entitled to a larger share of the business was contradicted by specific allowances in the shareholders’ agreement. GLG filed a counterclaim for damages arising from the filing of WGN’s suit.

Now the two companies have come to an agreement to drop the claims against each other without payment.

GLG said in a statement: “The dismissal is the result of Weider’s offer to drop its claim against GLG without any payment to Weider if GLG would drop its counterclaim against Weider and agree to wind up GLG and Weider’s joint venture company, GLG Weider Sweet Naturals Corporation.”

GLG Life Tech said that both companies would continue to market their stevia-based sweeteners and related products independently.

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