The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that China’s Reignwood Group has agreed to pay around $105m to buy slightly more than 50% of Voss of Norway ASA, a premium bottled water maker.
Voss hopes that it will be able to tap the fast-growing Chinese market through Beijing-based Reignwood which currently owns exclusive rights to Red Bull energy drinks and has a vast distribution network.
According to Jack Belsito, Voss’s CEO, Voss’s revenue rose about 25% from 2014 to $77.5m in 2015. About 70% of sales were generated in the U.S. and revenue in China totaled around $2m.
Euromonitor International data shows that retail sales of bottled water in China rose 12.5% from 2014 to $20.79bn in 2015, roughly doubling since 2011. Currently, most of the top-selling bottled water brands in China are Chinese owned.
Voss has more than 150 investors, most of them Norwegian. But Chevy Chase, MD-based Juggernaut Capital Partners has been the single-largest investor until now, with roughly a 30% stake.