Access Beverage is to acquire a 40% interest in Lauquen Natural Artesian Water.

CEO James Moeller announced today (25 February) that the company has entered into a Letter of Intent with New Patagonia to acquire the interest, contingent upon meeting performance requirements.

Under the terms of the agreement, Access Beverage is expected to acquire exclusive marketing and distribution rights, including import/export rights, joint ownership of all trademarks, future products and share in profits of the operation of Lauquen in the US, Canada and China.

According to the agreement, Access Beverage's distribution of Lauquen will focus solely on institutional sales, including exclusive resorts and spas, wine bars, high-end clubs, luxury hotels and restaurants, country clubs and business centres.

"This agreement is a major step forward in our strategy to expand our premium product lines and increase our points-of-presence in the high-margin, global institutional market," said Access Beverage president Diane Svehlak.

"Our recent announcement to enter the Chinese marketplace is underpinned by a strong demand for bottled water where pure artisan waters are at an all time high, particularly within urban Chinese communities.

Svehlak added: "We have a significant line of innovative and premium branded beverage products that we believe will be very well received. These agreements are putting us on track to accelerate our revenues and profitability, and create a platform for global market reach, in 2009."