Atlanta-based Suntory Water Group, the USA's third-largest bottled water company, announced today that it has acquired Georgia Mountain Water Inc. of Atlanta, a company known for its cutting-edge route management practices and high customer loyalty.

Suntory Water Group's strategic acquisition of Georgia Mountain Water, which has a network of distributors in nine southeastern states, further expands Suntory's position as a leading bottled water company in the U.S. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"Georgia Mountain is a well-respected company that has delivered quality products and services in the southeast for nearly 20 years," said David Krishock, president and chief executive officer of Suntory Water Group. "They have demonstrated leadership and prowess in forging customer loyalty. Their approach to the business is a perfect complement to our enterprise and philosophy."

Georgia Mountain Water, established in 1981, has a history of providing naturally pure bottled spring water from the Blue Ridge Mountains to residential, commercial and retail customers through more than 30 select distributors in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee.

"Georgia Mountain Water spring products are bottled right at the source in Blue Ridge, Ga., and like Suntory Water Group, we distinguish ourselves not only by providing quality products but also by staying close to our customers," said Jim Carroll, president of Georgia Mountain Water, a division of Suntory Water Group. "We are excited to join Suntory's leadership in providing consumers with products for healthy living through their Web site and through our own route delivery best practices."

Georgia Mountain Water has won numerous industry awards including public relations accolades from the International Bottled Water Association, 12 years in a row, and was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. The company supports more than 100 community events which benefit charities and non-profit organizations including The March Across Georgia for the Leukemia Society's Cure 2000 Campaign, March of Dimes Ride for Healthier Babies and the Walk for Juvenile Diabetes.

This transaction marks Suntory Water Group's 32nd acquisition since 1996 of strong regional bottled water companies which include Aqua-Cool/Brewed Hot Coffee Inc., Clearidge Inc., Great Pines, Cloister Spring Water Company and Hinckley & Schmitt.

Suntory Water Group, established in 1985, bottles, sells and distributes water and related products under regional names including Belmont Springs®, Crystal Springs®, Kentwood Springs®, Hinckley Springs® and Sierra Springs®. The company offers single-serve bottles, bulk packages and cooler options to residential and commercial customers in 40 states and Alberta, Canada. For more information, visit "target="_blank"> on the Internet.