Whether your glass is half empty or half full, DS Waters of America fills it up. The largest water-cooler delivery company in the US, the company delivers to homes and offices, owning some 25 manufacturing sites across some 40 US states. Regional brands offered by the company include Alhambra, Belmont Springs, Crystal Springs, Hinckley Springs, Kentwood Springs, Nursery, Sierra Springs, and Sparkletts. The company also operates a national coffee and tea delivery service under the Roast2Coast banner and sells water filtration systems. Founded in 2003, DS Waters has grown through the acquisition of regional brands and is owned by private investment fund Kelso & Co.
DS Waters has seen sales slip as competitors, including Wal-Mart, have introduced low-priced water coolers for sale rather than rent. Another competitive factor is the more cheaply priced bottled-water multipacks. Nevertheless, the company continues to make acquisitions aimed at strengthening its filtration and water delivery business.
In 2010 its Crystal Springs unit increased its presence in a major key US market through the purchase of Chester Mountain Distributors, a bottled water delivery firm catering to the greater New York City area. Months before, DS Waters purchased Yosemite Waters, a home and office bottled water delivery, coffee, and filtration service business in Central and Southern California. Towards the end of 2010, DS Water expanded its presence even more when it gobbled up the home and office bottled water delivery businesses of Tennessee's Echota Beverage Group and Salt Lake City headquartered Mount Olympus Waters. The company continued this trend by acquiring Maryland-based The Standard Companies, which distributes bottle water and provides coffee and water filtration services, in 2012.
In late 2009 it bought the assets of Arizona-based OWaters, which provided service to homes and offices throughout the Phoenix area. The purchase of the Abita Springs brand from Reily Foods in 2007 helped to expand the company's already sizable brand awareness. (As part of the deal, the Abita Springs brand was combined with DS Waters' Kentwood Springs label.) The acquisitions also added new customers and delivery routes to DS Waters' coverage. In addition to acquisitions, DS Waters has also formed distribution partnerships with companies such as FIJI Water.
DS Waters was created in 2003 as a 50-50 joint venture comprising the North American operations of Groupe Danone and Suntory International. Danone later bought out Suntory's stake and then sold the company in 2005 to Kelso & Co. – less