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THE diversified $3-billion Siva group, headed by NRI C Sivasankaran, has said that it has acquired 50% stake in Isklar, a Norwegian Glacial natural mineral water company and a premium bottled water brand in the UK and Norway.

   The deal concluded for $22 million, has led to Isklar turning into a 50:50 JV with Siva group picking up 50% stake and the original promoters—Sabco, which is a water brand from Oman and Java Holdings holding the rest. The owners of Java Holdings are associated with a major Norwegian shipping and Logistics company.

   Sources in Siva group said the two year old Isklar has its plant in Norway. It was launched in the UK in April 2008 and in Norway in February 2009. Against its annual capacity of 150 million litres, it produced 20 million litres in 2009. It is planned to double this in 2010 by taking the brand to other markets like Spain and Denmark. It is also eyeing the super premium bottled water market in India (which is tapped by Evian) and plans to launch Isklar in 2011.

   In UK, Ireland and Norway, the the brand is available in main retail retail stores, convenience chains and high end department stores. Isklar is a Carbon neutral product company supported by initiatives like direct shipping from the plants quayside, 100% hydro powered bottling plant, recycling 10 used pet bottles for every one produced etc.

   Siva group CEO, Vaidyanathan Sinivasan said, “ It always believed in spotting business opportunities ahead of time and further enhancing the value of the business it entered. The acquisition reinforces the vision of the group and it will expand operations of the brand in other international markets”.

   He also said, “riding on the early success of Isklar brand, the group will further strengthen and consolidate its position in the international consumer space”.

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