The Chaffee County Commissioners can no longer deny that Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) has been sold.
Press release from One Rock Capital, LLC dated April 6th, 2021:
“The company formerly known as Nestlé Waters North America today announced that it has begun operating under a new corporate name, BlueTriton Brands (“BlueTriton” or the “Company”). This announcement follows the completion of the previously announced acquisition of Nestlé Waters North America (“NWNA” or the “Company”), a leading provider of bottled water in North America, from Nestlé S.A.”
Note the words “acquisition” and “from.” NWNA has been “acquired from” Nestle S.A. It is no longer owned by the Swiss-based multinational. It is now owned by “private equity.” (One Rock Capital Partners, LLC and Metropoulos & Co.)
Lawyers for the previous owners, NWNA, have continued to insist that the transaction described above does not require a “transfer” of the existing 1041 Permit. This despite the new owners proclaiming that they have “acquired” what used to be NWNA.
At this point, the County Commissioners should deny any requests for further extension of the current 1041 Permit. Our legal representation says the extensions granted up to now have been illegal. They must refuse to transfer it to new owners and require a new 1041 Permit application, subject to full review and public scrutiny.
The Commissioners have full legal rights to do this:
Chaffee County Resolution No. 2009-42, Section 4.6: “Transfer of Permit. Permittee may transfer this permit to any 51 percent Nestlé S.A. owned subsidiary with written notice to the County. In the case of any other transfers, this Permit may be transferred to another party only with the written consent of the Permit Authority. A proposed transferee shall demonstrate that it can and will comply with all requirements, terms, and conditions contained in the permit.”
Requiring a new Permit application will see that these questions, and many others, will be answered by the new owners:
-What corporate form is BlueTriton and under what jurisdiction is it organized?
-Who are the underlying owners of BlueTriton?
-Is the transaction, or any part of the transaction, subject to regulatory approval at any level of government?
-What assets relating to Ruby Mountain Springs were acquired in the transaction? What assets, if any, were not acquired?
-Will BlueTriton seek to change any contracts related to water sources, or operations, in Chaffee County? What kind of changes might be expected?
-Who are the principal officers of BlueTriton? What are their backgrounds, and track records, for managing and protecting natural resources and operating sustainable businesses?
The Commissioners will meet to discuss transfer of this permit at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 4. Please Zoom into the meeting, (ID# 109 079 543), and join in Public Comment. Before the meeting, please contact the Commissioners and tell them to protect Colorado’s water from being turned into a commodity. To find out more, please visit https://unbottle-protect.org
This is a David and Goliath struggle and we need your help.
Tom Bomer for Un-Bottle and Protect Chaffee County Water
Editor’s note: AVV covered the sale of Nestlé Waters North America in this April 12 story.