Nestle sells bottled water brands for $4.3bn

Photo: AP

The Swiss-based beverage giant Nestle is aiming to sell its North American bottled brands for a total of 4.3 billion dollars, AP reported. The brands include Poland Spring, Deer Park, Arrowhead and Pure Life. They are intended to be sold to a subsidiary of One Rock Capital Partners in partnership with Metropoulos & Co.

Nestle said it intends to sharpen its focus on its international premium water brands, including Perrier, S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, which were not part of the deal. The new owners, meanwhile, hope to boost the bottled-water brands, which have seen slower sales growth in recent years. US bottled-water sales have grown every year since the 2009 recession, as health-conscious consumers have switched away from sugary soft drinks. Bottled water outsold soft drinks for the fourth year in a row in 2019, according to the International Bottled Water Association.

But that growth has been slowing amid criticism from environmental activists about waste from single-use plastic bottles. Consumers have also been switching to flavored and sparkling waters, like LaCroix or Coca-Cola’s smartwater brand. Lower-cost store brand bottled waters have further cut into sales. Nestle’s North American water business has 27 production facilities and more than 7,000 employees. It sources water from 38 active springs throughout the US.

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