The merger will not go ahead

The merger will not go ahead

The British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) has said a proposed merger with the European Drinking Water Cooler Association (EDWCA) is now dead after the European trade body rejected its UK counterpart's conditions.

The BWCA said that “following an extended period to consider” the EDWCA has turned down proposals including installing BWCA's general manager, Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, as head of the merged association. The BWCA also sought to have its current chairman take the same role for the new body.

The British body, meanwhile, said the EDWCA opted to remain with the Automatic Vending Association instead of taking up an offer to join Watercoolers Europe “as a stepping stone” to a merger.

The EDWCA rejected the proposals because it believes “the same vision, values and goals are not shared” by the two groups and that the merger process “is now closed”, the BWCA said.

EDWCA vice chairman Hans Krohn confirmed to just-drinks that the merger has collapsed, adding that the BWCA's conditions were “not acceptable”.

UK bottled water volumes grew by 3.3% last year as the industry continued its recovery from a 2006 slump, figures released in April showed.