South Korea's largest brewer Hite plans to spin off its bottled water division and form a new firm that will become the largest in the sector.

Hite and South Korea's largest distiller Jinro - which Hite bought last year in a US$3.4bn deal - plan to merge their water operations, according to local reports today (6 February).

The proposals will see Hite merge its Puriss brand with Jinro's Seoksu. As of last year, the brands respectively held 7.2% and 11.1% of South Korea's bottled water market.

The new entity's market share is likely to surpass the segment's leading bottled water brand, Saemmul, which holds 12% of the market.