Nestlé Canada terminates sale of its Pure Life bottled water business to Ice River Springs

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 21: Bottles of Nestle Pure Life water sit on a market shelf in Norcross, Georgia, U.S., on Jan. 22, 2008. Tap water is fine for Alice Waters, who stopped selling bottled stuff last year at her environmentally conscious Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California. That could be bad news for Nestle SA. (Photo by Chris Rank/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

CANADA – Nestlé has announced the termination of a deal to sell its Canadian Pure Life bottled water business to private bottled water company Ice River Springs, future sale still possible at a later date.

Nestlé Canada said that the two companies had not been able to work through the Competition Bureau’s regulatory approval process within Nestlé’s set timeframe to allow for a successful sale.

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Announced in July, the proposed agreement – for an undisclosed sum – included two factories located in Puslinch, Ontario and Hope, British Columbia, along with a well in Erin, Ontario.

The transaction was reportedly contingent on efficient regulatory approval. If this was not achieved, there was the potential that the Pure Life business would continue to be part of the North American review announced in June, according to Nestlé.

The review is exploring ‘strategic options’, including a possible sale, for the Nestlé Waters business in the US and Canada.

The Nestlé Waters North America unit includes regional spring water brands, the Pure Life brand and the ReadyRefresh beverage delivery service. The North American strategic review is expected to be completed by early 2021.

Nestlé Canada started exploring a potential sale of the Nestlé Pure Life business in Canada in late 2019, with a sale allowing it to focus its efforts on its well-known international brands San Pellegrino, Perrier and Acqua Panna.

Ice River Springs is a Canadian family-owned, private label bottled water producer for retailers, as well as the manufacturer of the Ice River Green bottled water brand.

It says it has built up the company ‘upon values of environmental stewardship, innovation and an ethical business model that ultimately offers consumers a high quality, environmentally responsible, healthy bottled water beverage at a great value’.

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Alongside its manufacturing operations, it runs a plastics recycling operation, BMP Recycling, that takes bottles and plastic food packaging collected by municipalities and produces food grade recycled PET plastic.

In acquiring the Nestlé Pure Life branded business in Canada, the company was to follow its ambitions of expanding beyond private label. The sale included two factories located in Puslinch, Ontario, and Hope, British Columbia, along with a well in Erin, Ontario.

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