Danone to take majority stake in Harrogate Water

James Cain, CEO of Harrogate Water, with James Pearson, MD of Danone Waters UK & Ireland

Danone, the multinational that owns evian and Volvic, is set to acquire a majority stake in Harrogate Water, the family-owned business behind the historic Harrogate Spring Water brand.

The share purchase agreement will see the French corporation take a majority stake via a UK subsidiary, Danone Water. The current shareholders in Harrogate Water – the Cain family – will remain as minority shareholders and continue to contribute to the company’s growth.

Harrogate Spring Water has a spa history dating back to 1571 and was first bottled in 1740.

The acquisition will allow Danone Waters to further develop its 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.

This move also reflects the shared ambition of both companies to encourage healthier and more sustainable drinking choices.

“This move will expand our offering in the UK and help to meet growing demand in sparkling water and on-the-go consumption,” said James Pearson, MD of Danone Waters UK & Ireland.

James Cain OBE, Harrogate Water CEO, said: “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.