The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared Danone’s acquisition of a majority stake in bottled water company Harrogate Water.
Danone agreed to acquire a stake in Harrogate Water earlier this year, but the CMA launched an inquiry in May to determine whether the proposed purchase would reduce competition in the UK’s bottled water market.
Danone’s existing UK bottled water range includes the Volvic and Evian brands, which are operated by the company’s Danone Waters UK & Ireland subsidiary.
Harrogate Water, meanwhile, owns the British bottled water brand Harrogate Spring Water, as well as the charitable water brand Thirsty Planet.
The CMA investigated whether the addition of Harrogate Water to Danone’s existing portfolio of major water brands would represent a competition concern, but has now confirmed that there will be no further investigation into the deal, which will now go ahead.
At the time of the initial agreement, Danone claimed that the purchase will significantly expand Danone Water’s position in the UK market and support further growth opportunities for Harrogate’s bottled water portfolio. In particular, James Pearson, managing director of Danone Waters UK & Ireland, claimed that the purchase would hep the company meet the growing demand for sparkling water and on-the-go consumption options.
Current Harrogate Waters CEO James Cain will join the management team of Danone Waters UK, and will continue to lead the Harrogate Water business.
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