US/INDIA: Glaceau sells stake to Tata Group
US bottled water producer Glaceau has sold a 30% stake in the company to Indian conglomerate The Tata Group.
Glaceau, producer of "enhanced" water brand vitaminwater, said Tata would spend a total of US$677m on buying the stake and injecting extra investment into the company.
The deal, Glaceau, said would help it "meet the explosive demand for its vitaminwater brand fueled by America's health and wellness revolution".
"I want to thank all the people who have made vitaminwater so popular and told their friends about it. Now, millions more across the country looking for something healthier to drink can finally go out and get their own bottle of vitaminwater," said J. Darius Bikoff, Glaceau founder and CEO.
Glaceau claims to have pioneered the "enhanced" water category with the use of natural flavours and colours in their products.
The company hit the news in May when it forced drinks giant PepsiCo to change the packaging for its SoBe Life water brand. Glaceau had launched legal action against Pepsi for allegedly imitating its Vitaminwater brand.
For Tata, the deal is a further sign of the company's expansion in the US. In June, its Tata Coffee unit bought US coffee firm Eight O'Clock Coffee Co. for US$220m.
R.K. Krishna Kumar, vice chairman of the company's flagship arm Tata Tea, claimed the acquisition of a stake in Glaceau is a continuation of the company's business strategy over the last century.
He said: "For more than 100 years, The Tata Group has built a global reputation on the fundamental premise that doing good can translate into doing good business. Glaceau exemplifies this philosophy in its vitaminwater product which was created to give people the nutrients they need every day."
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