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SWITZ: Nestlé looks to take total control of Henniez

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Nestlé has moved to buy the outstanding shares in Swiss mineral water company Sources Minerales Henniez.

The company's Nestlé Waters division confirmed to just-drinks today (17 October) that it has launched an offer for the shares it does not yet own in the water company. Last month, Nestlé bought the 61.66% stake held by the Henniez family, and said it would look to take control once the Swiss anti-trust authorities okayed the move. Nestlé made the bid to public shareholders earlier this week, a spokesperson told just-drinks, after the authorities gave the purchase the green light last week.

Nestlé will offer CHF5,303 (US$4,481) per share. In September, the company paid the Henniez family CHF155m for its stake, the equivalent of CHF3,000 per share.

"Henniez is a well-known, well-placed mineral water brand in Switzerland," the spokesperson said. "By acquiring the company, we will broaden our activities in areas where we already have a foot in, but where we would like to extend our reach.

"Henniez will be the first water source for Nestlé in Switzerland," the spokesperson added. "Previously, we only imported our mineral water brands into the country."

The spokesperson said he expects the offer to close "in a few weeks - there are no big issues over this move".

In 2006, Henniez posted sales of CHF152m. The company employs over 270 people at three sites in the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Valais and sells Henniez and Cristalp branded bottled water.

Upon completion of the deal, Nestlé Waters will have slightly less than 25% of the Swiss bottled water market.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Nestlé Waters

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