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Universal Robina buys Nestlé Waters

- Ma. Elisa Osorio  () - March 3, 2007 - 12:00am
Gokongwei-led Universal Robina Corp. (URC) has bought the manufacturing assets of Nestlé Waters, maker of Hidden Spring and Nestlé Pure Life.

In a statement, Nestlé Philippines said the sale is expected to be completed on April 2. Nestlé refused to disclose the price publicly-listed URC paid for the assets and trademarks.

Nestlé said it has decided to sell its water business because "is not doing well as expected." The company said it will just focus on its core competence like coffee production.

Under the agreement, URC will be given the right to sell bottled water under the trademarks Hidden Spring and Nestlé Pure Life. Nestlé Philippines said URC has agreed to apply Nestlé quality guidelines, among the most stringent in the market.

Nestlé likewise disclosed that URC has agreed to hire majority of the factory-based Nestlé Waters employees to ensure continuity of operations.

All Nestlé Waters employees will receive their separation package as provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the employee union and Nestlé management.

In addition to this, Nestlé Waters will pay financial assistance to further help employees in their transition and provide various safety net programs to affected employees. The assistance will include livelihood courses, outplacement support and lifestyle planning workshop.

Nestlé said URC is the most suitable buyer given its success in marketing iced tea brand C2. URC sells water in cups under the brand Refresh Mineral Water.

Other beverages being manufactured by URC are juice in cups Refresh Flavoured Drink and ready to drink tea C2 Iced Tea.

ALL NESTL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT EACUTE GOKONGWEI HIDDEN SPRING AND NESTL ICED TEA NESTL PURE LIFE REFRESH MINERAL WATER UNIVERSAL ROBINA CORP URC
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