Danone to acquire majority stake in UK bottled water firm Harrogate Water

UK – Danone, through a UK subsidiary, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Harrogate Water, a family-owned business with interests in foodservice and on-the-go consumption, for an undisclosed sum.

Harrogate Water is one of the UK’s leading bottled water brands and the owner of the British water brands ‘Harrogate Spring Water’and “Thirsty Planet”.

The acquisition is expected to further develop Danone Waters’ position in the UK and support future growth for Harrogate Water’s portfolio.

Harrogate also believes that the deal will also provide new opportunities for both businesses to deliver growth across complementary channels, combining the respective know-how of Harrogate Water in foodservice and Out of Home channels and Danone Water in retail channels with its evian and Volvic brands.

“We are delighted to have found the right partner to take Harrogate Water forward on its journey, while respecting and celebrating our history and heritage,”  James Cain OBE, Harrogate Water CEO, said while commenting on the acquisition.

“Danone and Harrogate Water have a shared ethos and approach to community and sustainability.

“As a family-business, we are all about our people; our colleagues, partners and customers. Together with the team at Danone we are confident we will continue this success, with a considered, like-minded approach.”

The partnership also reflects the shared ambition of the two companies to encourage healthier and more sustainable drinking choices.

Harrogate Water has a focus on sustainable business practice, including 100% recyclable packaging, bottles made from majority recycled content, both PET (rPET) and glass, as well as an exclusive partnership with Keep Britain Tidy.

The company said that this will contribute towards accelerating Danone’s initiatives and commitments to bring the health benefits of mineral and spring water to more people in line with its ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision.

James Pearson, Managing Director, Danone Waters UK & Ireland, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Harrogate Water to the Danone family. This move will expand our offering in the UK and help to meet growing demand in sparkling water and on-the-go consumption.

“We’ve been impressed with Harrogate Water’s commitment to these same values, including a shared ambition to become BCorp certified and to protecting our unique water sources, and we are excited to support the next step of their journey, inspiring more people towards healthier hydration.”

The completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval. Once the deal is closed, James Cain will join the management team of Danone Waters UK and continue to lead the Harrogate Water business.

The deal comes on the heels of Danone Manifesto Ventures’ investment in Paris-headquartered food waste management start-up Phenix.

The start-up has pioneered a platform which allows consumers to reduce food waste by buying unsold products from retailers, food producers and local stores at a discounted price, aided by a mobile application.

Phenix said that the funding will allow the start-up to expand its consumer-facing mobile app and its B2B #TechForGood solution for companies in the food and beverage industry.

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