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Just Water acquires Aqua-Cool


22 April 2004

Just Water acquires Aqua-Cool

Just Water International Ltd announced today that it had acquired the business of Aqua-Cool Ltd, the largest bottled water delivery company in the country.

Just Water International Ltd is the holding company for Just Water New Zealand, Cool Water, Corporate Water Brands and now, Aqua-Cool.

Tony Falkenstein, Chief Executive of Just Water, said the acquisition is “a consolidation of this niche of the beverage industry”.

The expanded group will continue to concentrate solely on supplying water products to the New Zealand business market, and will look at overseas opportunities.

The water industry in New Zealand is divided into three categories: point-of-use, bottled water delivery and branded bottled water.

“This acquisition means we can now cover every need for the business user,” Mr Falkenstein said.

The company

Just Water International Ltd comprises the following companies: Just Water New Zealand, established in 1989, primarily supplies point-of-use water systems. These coolers either allow customers to filter their own water, or the coolers are plumbed in to the mains water supply, utilising a high tech mini-filtration system.

Aqua-Cool Ltd, established in 1990, operates its own water filtration plants and delivers bottled water to businesses and government departments. It is the largest supplier of bottled water in New Zealand. Cool Water Company Ltd, acquired in 2001, operates in both the point-of-use and bottled water delivery markets.

Corporate Water Brands NZ Ltd, established in 1989, supplies branded bottled water for corporate events and promotions. Note: Just Water companies are not involved in the retail bottled water market.

The Just Water International Group now has more than 35,000 water coolers placed in organisations around the country, and is the largest player in this niche.

“While the acquisition will provide some economies of scale in services and administration, the biggest benefit is in combining Just Water’s proven record in retaining customers with Aqua-Cool’s large customer base,” Mr Falkenstein said. “This provides strong cashflows and opportunities for improved performance for the group.”

Just Water International Ltd employs 179 staff throughout New Zealand. Mr Falkenstein will continue as Chief Executive.

The industry

Bottled drinking-water has been an international growth phenomenon. In the US, bottled drinking water has been the fastest growing category within the beverage industry.

Worldwide, growth of this category has been estimated at an average 10% per year.

While the New Zealand market has grown rapidly over the past 10-15 years, the average water consumption per capita in New Zealand is still only one-fifth of the average in Australia. (Source: Zenith International 2004).

As a result, Just Water International Ltd expects the New Zealand market to continue to grow strongly over the next few years.

ENDS


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