Compania Cervecerias Unidas has entered into a partnership with Nestle in the Chilean bottled water market.

The South American drinks company, which operates principally in Chile and Argentina, said today (6 December) that its subsidiary Embotelladoras Chilenas Unidas (ECU) has teamed up with Nestle Waters Chile to jointly own ECU's water unit, to be henceforth known as Aguas CCU-Nestle Chile SA.

The agreement, which sees the two units own the mineral water brands Cachantun and Porvenir, sees Nestle Waters Chile pay CLP16,47bn (US$33.2m) for a 20% stake in the unit. Nestle also has a call option to up its holding to 49.9% within 18 months of today.

While ECU also brings the purified water brand Glacier and production facilities in Coinco and Casablanca to the j-v, Nestle Chile will provide Aguas CCU-Nestle with an exclusive and indefinite license for production and sales of the Nestle Pure Life brand.

Earlier this year, CCU posted a rise in sales volumes for the year to the end of September. Sales were up by 5.6% on the corresponding period a year earlier to 9.73m hectolitres.