Nestle Waters has taken a 33% stake in French company, Saphir, which specialises in the office delivery of water in large formats.

Saphir, which owns the Opalia brand, posted a 2001  turnover of around €10m.

The company has 17 warehouses across France and is ranked fourth in the French Home & Office Delivery (HOD) market.

The past 12 months has already seen Nestlé Waters strengthen its position in the HOD market in France with the acquisition of RB Diffusion and Aquacool.

Nestlé Waters will now be able to distribute water coolers over the whole of France, from a network of 25 warehouses.

The company said the HOD distribution channel currently represents only a small share of the overall bottled water market in France - some 160m litres compared to the global market of  7 billion litres. However HOD shows the most dynamic annual growth, at around 25%.