The sale covers US and Canadian brands Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ozarka, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Arrowhead, Pure Life and Splash: a portfolio with sales of CHF 3.4bn ($3.8bn) in 2019. It also comprises the US direct-to-consumer and office beverage delivery service ReadyRefresh, which added a series of brands in January last year.
Nestlé will retain international premium brands such as Perrier, S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.
Metropoulos & Co draws on experience with Hostess Brands & Pabst Brewing
US-based One Rock Capital Partners is acquiring the business through an affiliate, in partnership with Metropoulos & Co. The transaction is expected to be completed in the spring, at which point Dean Metropoulos will become the company’s Chairman and interim Chief Executive Officer.
Metropoulos & Co. is a family-owned investment firm that focuses on ‘reviving and reimagining brands and businesses’ across the F&B and wider sectors. Over the last 40 years it has invested in more than 80 entities, including: Hostess Brands, Pabst Brewing Company, Utz, Pinnacle Foods, Aurora Foods, Stella Foods, The Morningstar Group, International Home Foods, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Mumm and Perrier Jouet Champagnes and Hillsdown Holdings, PLC (Premier International Foods and Christie Tyler Furniture), as well as Briggs & Stratton, among others in a variety of industries.
One Rock says it can bring the necessary investment and operational capabilities to the table. It says that NWNA, as a private company, will have “greater resources and flexibility to drive continued growth, strengthen its existing operations, and execute on its mission to deliver healthy hydration to consumers.”
Based in Stamford, Connecticut, NWNA has 27 bottled water facilities across North America. It employs around 7,000 people in the US and 230 in Canada. It is an associate of Paris headquartered Nestlé Waters; which is a subsidiary of Swiss giant Nestlé S.A.
Nestlé had announced last year that strategic review of the North American waters division was under way, as it looks to sharpen the focus of its global water portfolio.
Announcing the sale today, Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, said: "We continue to transform our global waters business to best position it for long-term profitable growth. This sale enables us to create a more focused business around our international premium brands, local natural mineral waters and high-quality healthy hydration products. We will also boost our innovation and business development efforts to capture emerging consumer trends, such as functional water."