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Danone is acquiring a majority stake in Harrogate Water
Posted on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 13:32
French dairy products manufacturer Danone has agreed to pick up a majority stake in one of the UK’s leading bottled water companies Harrogate Water for an undisclosed amount.

The target is a family-owned business with a unique British heritage and core strengths in the foodservice and on-the-go consumption categories.

Harrogate Spring Water was established in 1571 and became the country’s first bottled brand in 1740.

The current shareholders – the Cain family – will remain as minority investors and continue to contribute to the growth of the business.

Danone, while being known for its dairy products, is also one of the world’s leading natural source water companies in the world and is home to iconic brands Evian and Volvic.

The acquisition of Harrogate Water develops the group’s position in the UK and supports future growth for the firm’s portfolio.

James Cain, chief executive of the target, will join the management team of Danone Waters UK and continue to lead the business.

Completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

Cain said: “This is a great investment for the town of Harrogate and the Yorkshire region. We are incredibly proud to become part of the Danone family, and are excited about the benefits this will bring to Harrogate as we continue to produce one of the world’s finest natural source waters from the original British spa town.”

At the time of the announcement, Danone also revealed its 2019 financial results showing a 2.6 per cent increase to EUR 25.29 billion in the year to 31st December 2019, from EUR 24.65 billion in the previous 12 months.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there were 19 deals targeting UK-based soft drinks and ice manufacturers announced in 2019.

In the largest of these, Coca Cola European Partners applied for a block listing of 17.42 million shares worth EUR 878.89 million.

© Zephus Ltd