Canada's Choice Spring Water, Inc., is poised to become the leading Canadian supplier of bottled spring water after acquiring Echo Springs Water Co. Ltd for CA$11.5m (US$7.4m).

The acquisition, subject to completion of due diligence and all regulatory approvals is expected to close on July 31, 2001.

Pete Fearon, chairman of Canada's Choice said: "We are very enthusiastic about this acquisition as it will help us towards fulfilling our goal of becoming the largest bottled water company in Canada."

"We are projecting combined annual sales of approximately CA$30m and will be the only Canadian spring water supplier with bottling facilities in both Eastern and Western Canada," he continued.

As part of the transaction, the company will expand its board of directors to nine members and appoint Doug Hatch and Mark Rundle, currently chairman and president respectively of Echo Springs, to its board.

Echo Springs is one of the country's most established spring water suppliers since 1985 and distributes natural spring water to retailers in Canada and the US under its flagship brand, Echo Springs and also private label brands.