A business wrinkle in the contentious Nestlé’s 1041 permit application renewal here in Chaffee county has been a global unknown; the company had put Nestlé Waters North America up for sale. In question — who might buy it? What would be their stance related to the spring water assets of the company? What impact does this have on the 1041 permit renewal process?
Thursday, Jan 18 a potential answer to one of those questions presented itself. Chaffee County’s Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and staff learned that private equity investment firms One Rock Capital Partners, LLC (One Rock) and Metropoulos & Co. have entered into an agreement to purchase Nestlé Waters North America (Nestlé NA).
Typically, in these instances where packaged goods brands and companies have been purchased by investment firms, they are bought for their assets; which are often more valuable when liquidated separately. That is not necessarily the case in this agreement, but their intent is not known.
Rather than a phone call or email to county leadership, Chaffee leadership and staff received this news through national media channels, based on a press release issued by One Rock late the evening of February 16.
Nestlé NA has since released its own press release regarding the sale agreement. Neither Nestlé NA nor its representatives have shared additional information with the Chaffee BOCC or county staff since the announcement of the sale agreement was made public.
“At this time, we anticipate the process for Nestlé’s 1041 permit application review will continue. The County will share updates through the public process as we learn more from Nestlé and better understand what impacts the proposed purchase of their company may have on the permit review,” said Chaffee County Attorney Jennifer Davis.
Nestlé NA has an application under review with Chaffee County BOCC for a 10-year extension of its existing 1041 Permit for a Ruby Springs water production process for its Arrowhead water brand, and associated transmission pipeline and loading facility in Nathrop.
The continuing discussion on the Nestlé NA’s 1041 Permit extension application will proceed, with the next update planned for the Chaffee BOCC meeting on March 16. At the March 9 BOCC meeting, Nestlé NA’s Natural Resource Manager, Larry A. Lawrence, is scheduled to present the Nestlé NA 2020 Annual Report. While the annual report is not called a requirement of the agreement, Lawrence indicated that the company planned to present it as a measure of good faith with the community.
Information and documents pertaining to the public hearing for the Nestlé NA 1041 Permit extension application will be posted to http://www.chaffeecounty.org/Public-Notices and https://chaffeecoco.civicclerk.com/.