Nestlé has dipped into the rapidly growing bottled water market for the second time in a month.
Its water division has acquired Russia's Clear Water company, the country's leader in Home and Office Delivery (HOD).
The acquisition, at an undisclosed price, comes just a fortnight after Nestlé expanded its bottled-water empire by acquiring the Powwow group for €560 million (SFr754 million).
That deal cemented Nestlé's position as the leader in the bottled water market.
In a statement on Monday, Nestlé Waters said that Clear Water was a pioneer in the "dynamic" HOD business in Russia.
It added that the HOD sector was set for a promising future in Russia, which shows an outlook of durable growth of more than 30 per cent per year.
Nestlé Waters, the water unit of the world's largest food concern, said that Clear Water should reach sales of more than €15 million in 2002.
The company has a portfolio including more than 40,000 customers, mainly in the Moscow and Saint Petersburg areas.
Following the purchase of Saint Springs in July last year, the acquisition will enable Nestlé Waters to take a leading position in Russia, the most highly populated country in Europe (140 million people).
The Nestlé unit has maintained a presence in Russia for many years, through a distribution office that oversees sales of its top international brands, including Perrier, Vittel and San Pellegrino.
Nestlé Waters, which is based in Paris, had sales of more than €5 billion in 2001.
swissinfo with agencies
The water division of the Nestlé group, Nestlé Waters, is the market leader.
Nestlé Waters had a 16 per cent share of the bottled market worldwide in 2001.
It reported sales of SFr7.5 billion in 2001, with an organic growth rate of 11.7 per cent.
The water division operates in 160 countries and employs 21,300 people.
The main Nestlé competitor in the water business is the French Danone concern, which has a 14.2 per cent market share.
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