Eden SPRINGS (Europe) SA

Eden Springs acquires from the Carlsberg Group the HOD bottled water activities in Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

    Lausanne/Copenhagen (ots) - Eden Springs, the European leader of the HOD (Home Office Delivery) bottled water market consolidates its leadership position with the acquisition of the Scandinavian and Baltic market leader Rent A Cooler (RAC), a subsidiary of the Carlsberg Group.

    RAC, which is based in Helsingborg  - Sweden, is the pioneer of the HOD market in Europe, having started the activity in 1988 as part of the Ramlösa Group - the leading mineral water brand in Scandinavia. RAC owns and operates 2 water sources, serves approximately 35'000 clients, and employs 157 people. The transaction amount is valued at EUR 28 Mio.

    Eden Springs and Carlsberg are in negotiation concerning Eden's possible acquisition of Rent A Cooler Denmark.

    For Carlsberg the sale of this activity ensures a refocus on the core activities of the group.

    With this acquisition Eden Springs consolidates its leadership position having strong market presence in 12 European countries (Estonia, France, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine) and serving approximately 300'000 clients. Eden Springs' turnover in 2001 was at EUR 130 Mio representing a 30% increase vs. 2000. In the last 6 months Eden Springs completed 10 acquisitions in Europe.

    The HOD bottled water segment enjoys growth rates of over 25% per annum and still represents less then 2% of the total European bottled water market.  The key European players are Eden Springs, Watson (a subsidiary of the Hong-Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa) and Perrier-Vitel Group (Nestlé) who recently entered the market with a string of acquisition in Poland, England, France and Greece.

    For additional information regarding Eden Springs please refer to www.edensprings.com.

Contact:

Eden Springs (Europe) SA Mike Hecker - General Manager phone +41/21/811'25'50 Internet: www.edensprings.com

Carlsberg A/S Margrethe Skov - Public Affairs Director phone +45/3327'1410 e-mail: margrethe.skov@carlsberg.com



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