Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling, the second largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, has announced that it will buy the Swiss mineral water bottling company Valser Mineralquellen.
The Athens-based company's purchase will be carried out jointly with Coca-Cola it said. The deal means that the battle for bottling supremacy has now been taken into the backyard of one of Europe's biggest bottlers, Nestle, which could make for an interesting outcome.
Switzerland is also one of the leading sources of mineral water in Europe. Currently the country's total production of bottled water is 530 million litres a year.
Nestle already owns the Perrier, Vittel and Contrex brands in France, San Pellegrino in Italy and a range of local brands in North America and Asia. However it has not managed to acquire a Swiss brand as yet.
Valser is a private company owned by the Hess Group . The purchase includes the Valser Classic, Valser Naturelle and Valser Limelite water brands, as well as Valser's production and distribution facilities.