Coca-Cola to pay $4.1bn for health-drinks maker

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Coca-cola North america Mineral water

Coca-Cola will pay $4.1bn (€3.05bn) to acquire Glacéau and its full
range of health-based water brands, including Vitaminwater.

Coca-Cola said the acquisition gives the company a platform to grow what it calls "active lifestyle beverages", those targeting health-conscious consumers - one of the key areas of growth in the drinks market. And following the deal, rumours began to swirl that Coca-Cola was interested in buying Highland Spring mineral water in the UK - a move that would hand it one of the top three bottled water brands in a rapidly growing market. Glacéau is also positioned in key market categories. It holds a leading position in enhanced water, water, and energy drinks. These categories are expected to make up a large portion of the beverage industry's volume and gross profit growth in North America through to 2010, Coca-Cola said. Glacéau will operate as a separate business unit within Coca-Cola's North American operations. Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola's president and chief operating officer, said the acquisition will also help the company grow such brands worldwide. "It sharpens even further our existing focus on re-establishing sustainable growth in our home market, strengthening our system, and leveraging acquisition opportunities to gain speed and capabilities in key categories,"​ he said. "We're committed to winning by reigniting growth in our core business of sparkling beverages while becoming the fastest-growing still beverage company in North America."​ Glacéau brands include Vitaminwater, Smartwater, Fruitwater and Vitaminenergy. Glacéau's top three executives, J. Darius Bikoff, Mike Repole, and Mike Venuti, will continue to lead the business for a minimum of three years. Other key managers will remain in the business, Coca-Cola said. The transaction, which is expected to close in the summer of 2007, is subject to regulatory review. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction. Coca-Cola is the world's largest beverage company.

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