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Forms Alliance With Iroquois Water Ltd.
Following an announcement made earlier this week to form an alliance with J.D. Iroquois Enterprises Ltd. to purchase spring water bottling assets in Revelstoke, BC., Cott Corporation has announced an alliance with Iroquois Water Ltd. in a strategic move aimed at further strengthening its position in the spring water segment.
This announcement was made at a press conference in Cornwall Island, Ontario. Cott's participation as a minority owner is viewed as a unique alliance, linking a corporation and a First Nations enterprise in a business combination.
"Combining Cott's expertise in the beverage business with Iroquois Water's strategic location and passion for this business is an ideal mix," said Mark Benadiba, president Cott Beverages Canada. "This venture will add tremendous strength to Cott's growing water program."
Chief Paul Thompson of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Government stated, "The historic alliance between Iroquois Water and Cott is representative of the future of first nations businesses. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council anticipates unprecedented growth and opportunity for Iroquois Water and the Mohawk community of Akwesasne."
"Our alliance with Cott represents a strategic move that will allow Iroquois Water branded product to penetrate the lucrative Eastern Canadian and the North East United States markets, said Dan Villeneuve, President & CEO of Iroquois Water. "It is also a commitment to the people of Akwesasne and a very large boost to the long-term economic benefit of the entire area."
Iroquois Water, which is based on Cornwall Island, Ontario, in the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne, is a company of the First Nations of America. Facilities at Iroquois Water include bottling and water treatment capacity, as well as fully computerized operations. The alliance with Cott allows Iroquois to move forward with plans to install a new high speed bottling line, which will include bottle blowing and state-of-the-art filling equipment. Both companies are allocating some of their best technical resources to the project to ensure the equipment reaches peak operating efficiency in an aggressive timeline.
The move allows Cott to further expand its expertise in retailer branded soft drinks to bottled water -- the fastest growing segment of the beverage category. It also allows the Company to offer a one-stop-shop to its customers ranging from premium quality soft drinks to spring water.
The press conference included representatives from both Cott and Iroquois Water. Full terms of the agreement were not disclosed.