May 16, 2001

Sparkling Spring Water Holdings Limited Acquires Pure Water, Polaris

Sparkling Spring Water Holdings Limited (a.k.a. "Holdings"), parent of Sparkling Spring Water Group Limited, announced that it acquired all of the outstanding stock of Pure Water Corporation and Polaris Water Company, Inc. (and related companies) from a subsidiary of DQE, Inc.
Pure Water is the home and office bottled water market share leader in the Seattle and Spokane Washington markets. Polaris home and office division holds a strong number two position in the Vancouver and Vancouver Island markets behind Canadian Springs, a division of Sparkling Spring. Polaris also markets the Polaris and Whistler Water brands in small packages worldwide. These acquisitions were completed through newly created subsidiaries.
"We are delighted to add the Pure Water and Polaris businesses to the Sparkling Spring family of companies," said Dillon Schickli, chief financial officer of Holdings. Mr. Schickli added, "Acquisition of these companies increases Holdings' customer location base by over 20 percent to approximately 230,000 and further solidifies our strong leadership position in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada."
Holdings also announced that it has completed the additional placement of U.S.$15 million of common equity with Egeria B.V. of Amsterdam, Netherlands. These funds were used to partially fund the purchase price of the acquisitions.
"We are pleased with the confidence shown in our business by this significant additional investment," said G. John Krediet, chairman of Holdings. Mr. Krediet added, "This investment increases our ability to expand rapidly through further acquisitions and as well as organic growth."
Jan Niessen, managing director of Egeria, stated, "We were pleased with our initial investment in Holdings, and, with this add-on investment, we look forward to continuing to help build Sparkling Spring into one of the largest independent home and office water companies in the world."
Egeria B.V., headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is a European-based privately held investment fund with over U.S.$450 million under management.
Sparkling Spring is a leading producer and distributor of bottled water to the home and office segment. The company does business as "Nature Springs" in England, "Water at Work" in Scotland, "Sparkling Springs" in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, "Canadian Springs," "Polaris," "Whistler Water" and "Rocky Mountain Springs" in British Columbia, Canada, "Cool Spring," "Sparta" and "Rocky Mountain Springs" in Alberta, Canada and in the United States, "Crystal Springs," "Cascade Clear," and "Pure Water" in Washington and "Crystal Springs" in Oregon.