UPDATE: This deal was named Insider Wales Dealmakers International Deal of the Year 2018.
A team from Hugh James, led by head of corporate/commercial Gerallt Jones, has advised the owners of bottled water manufacturer, Princes Gate Spring Water, on the sale of a majority shareholding to Nestlé Waters. The deal follows strong growth in the bottled water category and increasing consumer demand for healthier options. The move is expected to provide new opportunities for both businesses.
Princes Gate was founded by two brothers, David and Glyn Jones, in 1991 on organic land farmed by generations of their family in the hamlet of Princes Gate in Pembrokeshire, South Wales. Today, the company operates from the same plant and supplies spring water in retail and out of home (OOH) channels as well as its under its own brand, Princes Gate. The company is one of the few UK bottling facilities to be 100% self-sufficient thanks to renewable energy produced by a wind turbine onsite.
Princes Gate is the eighth largest manufacturer of bottled water in the UK, a market of £3.7bn that has grown by 8% each year for the past 5 years. This acquisition will strengthen Nestlé Waters’ position in the UK and allow the business to meet the increasing demand in the OOH channel for bottled water. One of the founders, David Jones, will keep a minority stake in the company.
Nestlé Waters is best known in the UK for bottling Buxton® Mineral Water and Nestlé Pure Life® to consumers nationwide.
Michel Beneventi, Managing Director of Nestlé Waters UK:
“I am pleased to welcome Princes Gate to the Nestlé Waters family. This company has grown very successfully over the past 27 years and shares many of the same qualities and values as our existing Waters business. In the UK, consumers are increasingly choosing healthier hydration options and consequently the demand for high quality spring and mineral water continues to go up. This acquisition reinforces our position in the UK and will allow us to effectively respond to customer demands and consumer expectations.”
David and Glyn Jones, founders of Princes Gate Spring Water, said:
“We started this business 27 years ago as a family and have built this business enjoying loyal relationships with our customers and employees. We are delighted we have found the perfect company to help supercharge our business. With the growth opportunities that lie ahead, we believe we have found the best partner in Nestlé Waters to help propel the business forwards for the future.”
Speaking about Hugh James’s role in the transaction David Jones said:
“We have built an extremely strong partnership with Hugh James over many years, which undoubtedly helped us to navigate our way as a team through what was a complex transaction and a momentous milestone for both our family and the business. They are far more than a law firm and, over time, have become our trusted advisors. Gerallt and his team have vast experience in doing deals like this with major corporations and we depended on their expert guidance from start to finish. Most importantly, their commitment to the cause was unwavering; often working through weekends and holidays, always with good humour, to help us achieve the outcome we wanted.”
Gerallt Jones, head of corporate/commercial at Hugh James, said:
“Princes Gate Spring Water is a phenomenal Welsh success story. From humble beginnings the company has grown to be a leader in the UK bottled water market, building a nationwide brand that is instantly recognisable as well as bottling water for a host of high street names. It has been an absolute pleasure to work hand in glove with David and Glyn on this exciting deal, which I have no doubt will lead to further success for Princes Gate as part of the Nestlé Waters group.”