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16 MAY

Eden aquires Ekol Wod - Poland



Big changes on the spring water delivery market in western Poland

Eden Springs Poland, a leading office and home spring water supplier, takes over Ekol Wod customer service.

An acquisition agreement was signed in April between mineral water distributor Zachodnie Centrum Dystrybucji Wody Mineralnej EKOL-WOD and Eden Springs Poland. Pursuant to the Agreement Eden Springs Poland takes over the servicing (spring water deliveries, service, and hiring of devices) of all to-date customers of Ekol-Wod. Thus, the number of points serviced by Eden will increase from 80,000 to 90,000.

"Increasing the customer base by means of acquisitions is part of our development strategy", says Andrzej Piotrowski, General Manager of Eden Springs Poland. "We wanted to strengthen our position in an important region, where our presence was not very strong before. For quite a long time we were looking for suitable opportunities - we are very pleased that we have reached agreement with such a known brand on that market. It is a big transaction on which we pin hopes for expanding our operations in western Poland."

The HOD (Home & Office Delivery) market, has been developing in Poland since the beginning of the 1990s. Corporate customers form the largest group of its buyers, accounting for 90% of all buyers. The remaining part consists of individual customers. Such a big disproportion is characteristic for the Polish market. By comparison, in the US, these proportions are 50% - 50%.

The strongest position on the Polish market belongs to companies operating all over Poland. On regional markets, however, they compete with local suppliers who do not have such an advanced infrastructure and service smaller distribution regions.

Eden Springs Poland is part of the Eden Springs Group operating in 17 European countries. In Poland, it is a pioneer setting quality standards in service and production in many aspects of the HOD segment. As an expression of care for customer comfort a comprehensive service system based on advanced IT solutions was introduced, the system of food health safety HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) was introduced and the program of regular sanitization of devices was launched. Eden Springs is also an initiating member of the Polish branch of EBWA - the European Bottled Watercooler Association.

Eden Springs Poland is a subsidiary of Danone Springs of Eden, a leading European supplier of 19-litre bottle spring water. The Company's product range available in a dozen or so European countries includes a wide range of services related to the deliveries of spring water and water dispensers to households and offices.

The Eden brand has been present on the Polish market since 1997. In Poland, Eden Springs Poland uses the springs located near national and landscape parks, with the main spring being in Krzeszowice in the Kraków-Cz?stochowa Jurassic. Its bottling plants are the only ones in Poland having the NSF certification and are operating in accordance with the HACCP system. The Company employs more than 400 people and operates through seven branches and a network of 20 dealers all over Poland.

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For more information please contact:

Jarrod Langhans
Director of Investor Relations and Corporate FP&A
Phone: +1-813-313-1732
Email: investorrelations3@cott.com


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