Groupe Danone announced today that it has acquired a 50% stake in Mexico's Pureza Aga, the fifth largest brand of packaged water in the world.

Pureza Aga, which was launched in 1950, bottles and distributes purified water to residential and commercial outlets in Mexico's largest cities. It also has a network of ten plants and 16 distribution centres, employing nearly 4,000 people.

Mexico which has the largest HOD market (1.2 billion litres sold last year) is also the second largest packaged water market in the world with more than 13 billion litres sold in 2000.

Groupe Danone, which has been in Mexico for over 30 years, is already the number one brand in the fresh dairy market. It also holds the number one position in the retail bottled water market with its Bonafont brand.

In a statement the company said: "The combination of Pureza Aga's strong position in the HOD market and Bonafont's leadership in the retail market gives Groupe Danone overall leadership, in value terms, of the packaged water market in Mexico.