Coca-Cola in Talks to Buy Highland Spring for Nearly $1 Billion: Reports

Sunday, 27 May 2007 | 4:01 PM ET

Coca-Cola is in talks to buy Britain's No. 2 bottled water brand Highland Spring in a potential 500 million pound ($992.7 million) deal, British Sunday newspapers reported.

The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph, citing industry sources, reported Coke, the world's No. 1 beverage company, was in talks with Highland Spring, owned by the Dubai-based Tajir family.

A spokeswoman for Highland Spring declined to comment. Coke could not be immediately reached.

Coke's foray into the British water market three years ago failed after samples of its Dasani bottled water showed it was little more than filtered tap water. Coke withdrew the product from British shops.

Coke, like rival PepsiCo, has suffered amid an industry-wide slowdown as health-conscious consumers move away from soft drinks in favor of bottled waters, teas and energy drinks.

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