MAINE, USA — A homegrown company that employs nearly 900 Mainers could be on the sales block, according to a release from its parent company.
Nestle NA, the largest food manufacturer in the world and international owner of Poland Spring Water, released a statement Thursday that indicated the company could be on the sales block in early 2021.
"Nestlé S.A.'s Board of Directors today approved a new strategic direction for its Waters business. The company will sharpen its focus on its iconic international brands, its leading premium mineral water brands, and invest in differentiated healthy hydration, such as functional water products," said the company in a press release.
"At the same time, the Board concluded that its regional spring water brands, purified water business, and beverage delivery service at its Nestlé Waters North America unit lie outside this focus. As a result, the company has decided to explore strategic options, including a potential sale, for the majority of the Nestlé Waters business in North America (U.S. and Canada), excluding its International brands. This review is expected to be completed by early-2021."
Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, said, "The creation of a more focused business enables us to more aggressively pursue emerging consumer trends, such as functional water while doubling down on our sustainability agenda. This strategy offers the best opportunity for long-term profitable growth in the category while appealing to environmentally and health-conscious consumers."
According to Bloomberg Intelligence's Duncan Fox, possible buyers include Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., which are well behind Nestle's market share. Fox said soft-drink bottlers like Cott and National Beverage Corp. could also be interested.
Poland Spring employs around 850 employees across Maine. They have bottling plants in Poland, Kingfield and Hollis.