Nestlé signs bottled water merger in Turkey

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bottled water, Mergers and acquisitions, Brand

Nestlé Waters said it would merge in Turkey with the country's
number one bottled water group, Erikli, to take better advantage of
Turks' growing thirst for mineral water.

Nestlé Waters will hold a 60 per cent stake of the merged company, although Erikli president Hasan Aslanoba will become its chief executive.

The deal, if approved by competition authorities, hands Nestlé Turkey's leading premium bottled water brand at a time when the market is consistently reporting double-digit volume growth.

Carlo Donati, chairman of Nestlé Waters, said the merger "reinforces our local distribution, offers interesting synergies, promotes the growth of our international brand Nestlé Pure Life, and allows us to establish a leading market position"​.

Nestlé Waters already has two production plants in Turkey plus annual sales of around $30m.

Turkey's bottled water market has gone from strength to strength recently as consumers become richer and more health-conscious about their soft drinks.

The market is currently sized at nearly seven billion litres, but Nestlé said it expected this to reach 10bn in the next five years. Per capita consumption is 90 litres, compared to 112-litre average for Western Europe.

Expansion in Turkey shows how Nestlé has increased its focus on emerging bottled water markets after a difficult time in parts of Western Europe.

Nestlé Waters recently returned to growth in Europe thanks to new products, notably lower priced Aquarel water, and a re-branding of its iconic Vittel brand.

But, the group said last autumn the market remained challenging, with a "consumer shift towards private label and lower-priced bottled waters"​.

The firm confirmed earlier this year it was examining how to re-organise its 75 bottled water brands in order to re-focus marketing efforts. A spokesperson for the group declined to comment on a timescale for the review.

Nestlé Waters recently overtook Danone to become the world's largest bottled water producer, with an 18 per cent share of global market value.

Related topics: Soft Drinks & Water

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