Nestle SA agreed to sell most of its North American bottled-water brands, including Poland Spring, Arrowhead and Pure Life, for $4.3 billion, hoping
Nestle SA agreed to sell most of its North American bottled-water brands, including Poland Spring, Arrowhead and Pure Life, for $4.3 billion, hoping to jump-start growth by focusing on a slimmed-down group of upscale, more on-trend brands.
The world’s largest bottled-water maker said the sale to private-equity firms One Rock Capital Partners LLC and Metropoulos & Co. would allow it to focus on premium brands Perrier, San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.
Bottled-water sales boomed in recent decades, particularly in the U.S.—Nestlé’s biggest water market—as consumers cut back on sugary soft drinks. But growth has slowed lately as the category matures and consumers opt for sparkling and flavored waters, which are drunk in smaller quantities.
Mainstream bottled water has faced fierce competition from store brands, making the category less attractive for Nestle, which in recent years has sought to sharpen its focus on faster-growing, more lucrative products such as infant formula, coffee and plant-based foods.
The cost of selling bottled water has also risen, while the pandemic has reduced sales of single bottles typically consumed at home.