UK water cooler maker buys rival

Water coolers, where office workers across the UK meet to flirt, exchange gossip, and plot boardroom coups, could soon be supplied by just one company.

PHS Group, the country's leading supplier of plumbed-in water coolers, has bought out its main rival UK Water in a £6.4m cash-only deal.

The move marks a radical consolidation in the UK market for plumbed-in coolers, which is now shared by just three companies.

The wider market for bottled water dispensers - which depends on regular deliveries of bottles - is divided among a larger number of businesses.

But plumbed in coolers are gaining in popularity because they are seen as healthier and more convenient. (...)

[Source: BBC Online, 2 January 2002, read full article]

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