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Danone to take over Harrogate Water

Danone to take over Harrogate Water

Published by May Norman at 9:35am 26th February 2020. (Updated at 3:45pm 27th February 2020)

Danone to acquire Harrogate Water

  • Danone, the company behind Actimel, Activia, Evian and Volvic has acquired Harrogate Water.
  • The firm has acquired a majority stake in the Harrogate based business.
  • James Cain, Harrogate Water CEO, will join the management team of Danone Waters UK and continue to lead the Harrogate Water business. 

Danone and Harrogate Water today (Wednesday, 26 February) announced that they have entered into a share purchase agreement under which Danone will (through a UK subsidiary) acquire a majority stake in Harrogate Water.

The current shareholders of Harrogate Water, the Cain family, will remain as minority shareholders and continue to contribute to the growth of the company.

Harrogate Spring Water
Headquarters of Harrogate Water on Harlow Moor Road

Harrogate Water is a family-owned business with a unique British heritage and core strengths in foodservice and on-the-go consumption.

Harrogate Water is the owner of the award-winning, British water brand “Harrogate Spring Water”, one of the UK’s leading bottled water brands, and the charitable brand “Thirsty Planet”.  

Harrogate Spring Water is the original British water brand, with a spa history dating back to 1571, and being first bottled in 1740.

Today, Harrogate Spring Water is one of Britain’s fastest-growing water brands* and leader in the Out of Home category. 

Harrogate Water

Danone is one of the world’s leading natural source water companies globally and home to iconic brands, including Evian and Volvic.

The acquisition will further develop Danone Waters’ position in the UK and support future growth for Harrogate Water’s portfolio.

It will provide new opportunities for both businesses to deliver growth across complementary channels, combining the respective know-how of Harrogate Water in foodservice and Out of Home channels and Danone Water in retail channels with its Evian and Volvic brands.  

James Pearson, Managing Director, Danone Waters UK & Ireland, said: 

“I am thrilled to welcome Harrogate Water to the Danone family. This move will expand our offering in the UK and help to meet growing demand in sparkling water and on-the-go consumption.  

“Danone’s heritage and strength lies in doing business in a responsible way: one that recognises the importance of sustainable growth alongside a commitment to protect our planet, promote health and value the people within our company and those we partner with.  

“We’ve been impressed with Harrogate Water’s commitment to these same values, including a shared ambition to become BCorp certified and to protecting our unique water sources, and we are excited to support the next step of their journey, inspiring more people towards healthier hydration.” 

James Cain, Harrogate Water CEO and James Pearson, Managing Director, Danone Waters UK & Ireland
James Cain, Harrogate Water CEO and James Pearson,
Managing Director, Danone Waters UK & Ireland

James Cain OBE, Harrogate Water CEO, said: 

“We are delighted to have found the right partner to take Harrogate Water forward on its journey, while respecting and celebrating our history and heritage. 

“Danone and Harrogate Water have a shared ethos and approach to community and sustainability. As a family-business, we are all about our people; our colleagues, partners and customers. Together with the team at Danone we are confident we will continue this success, with a considered, like-minded approach.

“This is a great investment for the town of Harrogate and the Yorkshire region. We are incredibly proud to become part of the Danone family, and are excited about the benefits this will bring to Harrogate as we continue to produce one of the world’s finest natural source waters from the original British spa town, for everyone to enjoy.” 

James Cain will join the management team of Danone Waters UK and continue to lead the Harrogate Water business.  

The completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.