Nestle to sell its North American water business for $4.3 billion
Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water, which employs roughly 400 employees, was sold as part of food and beverage giant Nestle S.A.’s $4.3 billion sale of its North American water business.
The company announced late Tuesday that it reached an agreement to sell its regional spring water brands, purified water business and beverage delivery service in the United States and Canada to buyout firm One Rock Capital Partners and investment firm Metropoulos & Co.
The deal, expected to close in the spring, will put Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water and Nestle’s other water brands under the umbrella of One Rock, an experienced investor in middle-market companies across the manufacturing and distribution sectors, and Metropoulos & Co., a turnaround artist in the food-and-beverage industry that helped reinvigorate well-known firms such as Hostess Brands and Pabst Brewing Co.
Nestle Waters spokesperson Alix Dunn confirmed the sale includes all of Nestle Waters North America’s U.S. factories, warehouses, offices and branches.
It’s too early to say whether changes will come to the Zephyrhills plant on 20th Street. Once the deal is complete, Metropoulos & Co. founder Dean Metropoulos will become chairperson and interim CEO of the bottled water business.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead NWNA as it enters the next phase of evolution,” Metropoulos said in a news release. “This is an important inflection point for the business as it transitions to an independent company, and I look forward to collaborating with One Rock and NWNA’s management team to deliver unparalleled value to our customers.”
In addition to Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water, the sale includes several other brands in the United States and Canada: Deer Park, Pure Life, Poland Spring, Ozarka, Ice Mountain, Arrowhead and Splash. The deal, which does not include Nestle’s international premium brands Perrier, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, comes about eight months after Nestle said it would conduct a strategic review of its North American waters division as it sought to sharpen the focus of its global water portfolio.
Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, Nestle Waters North America has about 7,000 employees in the United States and 27 production facilities across North America. The company also sources water for six regional spring water brands from 38 springs throughout the United States.
Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water was founded in 1964 and grew into a multi-billion-dollar business. It was sold to Perrier in 1987 to Perrier, later acquired by Nestlé.