Coca-Cola Great Britain has announced its intention to buy Waters & Robson Holdings, owner of the Abbey Well mineral water brand.

Abbey Well, a natural mineral water from Northumberland, will be bottled and distributed by Coca-Cola Enterprises, following the deal, Coca-Cola GB announced yesterday (11 November).

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The move hands Coca-Cola a greater presence in high-end bottled water in the UK, as several mainstream brands experience a difficult period in the country.

Sanjay Guha, president of Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: "We have been looking for the right bottled water opportunity to expand the range of drinks we offer consumers for some time, and in Abbey Well we have acquired a natural, sustainable and high quality British sourced water."

Coca-Cola plans to invest in infrastructure at Abbey Well's production site in Morpeth, in a sign the group intends to expand production. Abbey Well employees will be transferred to CCE upon completion of the DEAL, the group said.

The deal offers Coca-Cola a more solid footing in the UK's water market. Its initial launch with the Dasani brand broke down in 2004, when it emerged that Dasani was purified tap water, not natural mineral water.

A boom on the UK's bottled water market has hit problems in the last year, amid a concerted campaign against the category conducted by environmental groups. French firm Danone, which owns Evian and Volvic, said it had suffered a volume decline in the UK during the third quarter.

Independent analyst James Amoroso told just-drinks last month that bottled water firms needed to "correct perceptions" about their products' environmental impact.