Ionics to Sell Bottled Water Business to Nestle Unit

Water purification equipment maker Ionics Inc. has agreed to sell the Aqua Cool Pure Bottled Water business to affiliates of Perrier-Vittel SA, a subsidiary of Nestle SA , for $220 million, subject to certain adjustments.

Representatives from Ionics said the Aqua Cool operations in the United States, the United Kingdom and France generate over $70 million of revenues a year. The closing of the transaction, which is expected near year-end, is conditioned among other things upon the expiration of the 30-day waiting period following notification under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

Noting the new focus areas are growing businesses, chief executive officer Arthur Goldstein said they are based on Ionics' core technologies in membrane-based water treatment and are expected to require substantial resources and capital commitments in the future.

``The sale to the Perrier Group will enable us to direct resources to the growing worldwide 'build, own and operate' market for water and wastewater systems, to decrease corporate debt and to pursue new opportunities for growth within the areas of our core competence,'' he said.


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