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Harrogate Water takeover cleared

Harrogate Water takeover cleared

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 12:53pm 11th June 2020.

The proposed takeover of Harrogate Spring Water has been given the all clear by the UK competition watchdog following an investigation.

French food giant Danone announced it was buying a majority stake in the UK’s oldest bottled water company in February.

But the deal was subject to an investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) which said it was considering if it would result in a “substantial lessening of competition” within the market.

The CMA has this week confirmed it will not be referring the planned acquisition to a phase two investigation.

The deal – made for an undisclosed sum – will see Harrogate Spring Water join brands Evian and Volvic under Danone’s portfolio.

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 pictured when the deal was announced in February

Harrogate Spring Water first started bottling its spa water in 1740 and was originally set up with help from Harrogate Borough Council to increase the profile of the town.

The water company achieved sales of £21.6million in the financial year to March 2019.

Its current shareholders, the Cain family, will continue to hold a minority stake under the deal.

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