CANADA – Nestlé is set to offload its Canadian Pure Life bottled water business to private bottled water company Ice River Springs for an undisclosed sum, with the transaction including two factories located in Puslinch, Ontario and Hope, British Columbia, along with a well in Erin, Ontario.

The agreement closely follows Nestlé’s announcement last month to explore the sale of ‘the majority’ of its Nestlé Waters North America unit, including its regional spring water brands, the Nestlé Pure Life brand and the ReadyRefresh beverage delivery service.

Nestlé stressed that its recent transaction is now independent of the North American strategic review, which remains ongoing.

“In late 2019, we began the exploration of a potential sale of our Nestlé Pure Life business in Canada, as we had determined that we are best positioned to focus on our iconic international brands of San Pellegrino, Perrier and Acqua Panna,” said Jeff Hamilton, president and CEO of Nestlé Canada.

Earlier this month, Nestlé’s Sanpellegrino Group water subsidiary offloaded the Nestlé Vera bottled water brand to Aqua Vera Spa, a new company established by the owners of PET container manufacturers Sicon.

Founded in 1995, Ice River Springs is a Canadian family-owned, private label bottled water producer for retailers and manufacturer of the Ice River Green brand.

According to the official press release, the acquisition enables Ice River Springs to expand its offering in Canada beyond private label.

“This is a significant step in our strategic sustainability journey and with the addition of this iconic brand, their skilled and dedicated people across the country and the resources of this business, we will continue our commitment to sustainable bottled water, the circular economy and to hydrating Canadians,” said Sandy Gott, executive VP and co-owner of Ice River Springs.

The transaction is subject to regulatory review and is expected to close in Q3 2020. Until completion of the review process, Nestlé Canada will continue to run its Pure Life business, reports FoodBev.

Alongside the new strategic direction, Nestlé has made a commitment to make its entire global water portfolio carbon neutral and replenish associated watersheds by 2025.

Nestlé plans to pursue high-quality offsets as well as to invest in projects that reduce or capture carbon across its portfolio to achive the goal. Markedly, the company revealed that it will be prioritizing international brands Perrier, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna to achieve carbon neutrality by 2022.

In addition, Nestlé Waters has made a commitment to support the environmental sustainability of watersheds by replenishing 100% of the water it uses, strengthened by a pledge to certifying all of its water sites globally to the internationally respected Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard.

While Nestlé Waters’ packaging is already 100% recyclable or reusable, the company has further committed to cutting its use of virgin plastic by 50% by using more recycled PET and supporting the roll out of alternative delivery systems.

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