An agreement has been signed between Nestlé and the Rouge family, the majority shareholder of Sources Minérales Henniez, on the acquisition by Nestlé of 61.66% of the company for CHF 3,000 per share. In addition to the shares held by the Rouge family, Nestlé will make a public offer for the rest of the shares quoted on the SWX Swiss Exchange for CHF 5,303 per share, equivalent to the average weighted price of the last 60 trading days. The transaction, which amounts to about CHF 155 million in total, is subject to regulatory approval. Upon completion of the deal, Nestlé Waters will have slightly less than 25% of the Swiss bottled water market.
Henniez had sales of CHF 152 million in 2006. The company employs over 270 people at three sites in the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Valais and sells Henniez and Cristalp branded bottled water. Henniez's successful joint venture partnership with Eckes-Granini (Granini and Hohes C brands) will continue. With sales of CHF 77 million in 2006, Nestlé Waters Suisse markets S. Pellegrino, Vittel, Contrex, Acqua Panna and Perrier.
Henniez, a family-run business well-known for the quality of its products and its management, is thus joining the ranks of the Nestlé group. Strengthened by their common roots in the Swiss canton of Vaud and their common culture, both parties will now be better equipped to face a very competitive market with a strong distribution sector: Switzerland's three large retailers account for 85% of sales. With a yearly consumption of 127 litres per capita, the Swiss market is above the European average and enjoys a growth rate of 1 to 2% per year.
Carlo Donati, CEO of Nestlé Waters: "Henniez perfectly strengthens our existing activities in Switzerland. It brings us modern industrial capacity adapted to evolving consumer needs, a strong distribution network, as well as prestigious local brands which ideally complement our existing portfolio of international brands."
Nicolas Rouge, CEO of Sources Minérales Henniez: "This transaction safeguards the traditions behind the Henniez company and brand. With Nestlé, we have found a trusted partner to pursue these objectives."
Carlo Donati, CEO of Nestlé Waters, and Nicolas Rouge, CEO of Sources Minérales Henniez, will give a press conference on this acquisition at the Hôtel Alpha-Palmiers, Rue du Petit-Chêne 34 in Lausanne, on Tuesday 4 September 2007 at 11:30. The media are kindly invited to attend.
Media: François-Xavier Perroud Tel.:+41-21-924 2596
Investors: Roddy Child-Villiers Tel.:+41-21-924 3622