October 17, 2010 / 9:05 AM / 9 years ago

Strauss, Haier set up drinking water venture in China

JERUSALEM, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Israeli food and beverage maker Strauss Group (STRS.TA) said on Sunday it signed an agreement with Chinese home electronics giant Haier (1169.HK) to set up a drinking water joint venture in China.

The firm, called Haier Strauss Water, will be owned by Strauss unit Strauss Water and Haier’s consumer goods division. Each will initially invest $10 million and hold 50 percent of the venture, Strauss said in a statement.

“We identified China as a top-priority target market with huge business potential,” said Rami Ronen, chief executive officer of Strauss Water, in the statement.

Products will be purchased from Strauss Water and the company will receive distribution and sales services from Haier’s units.

Strauss said it plans to offer high-quality drinking water in China in 2011.

“Our entry into China takes us to the next level in the realisation of our expansion strategy across the world,” Strauss President and CEO Gadi Lesin said.

“This partnership will leverage the combined know-how, capabilities and expertise of Strauss Water in developing water treatment and purification solutions, and the leadership position and reliability of Haier in marketing, distribution and service in China.”

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2010, subject to approvals from Chinese authorities. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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