The world’s biggest food company, Nestle, finalized last week the full acquisition of Lebanon’s major mineral-water producer, Sohat, after several weeks of negotiating details. An official from Nestle declared that the Swiss-based company will fully control the Lebanese firm after previously owning a 49 percent stake in Sohat.
Despite increasing competition from local bottled water brands like Sannine, Rim and Tannourine, Sohat, produced by the Societe des Eaux Minerales Libanaises, maintained a 35 percent share of the local mineral-water market, aided by Nestle who helped establish the $8 million Falougha plant with capacity of 19,200 bottles per hour in 1997.
It is still not clear how much the acquisition is worth, and why the 50-year old Zoghzoghy family enterprise decided to sell its remaining shares to Nestle. — ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)