UAE-Based NRI Billionaire to Acquire British Bottled Water Brand: Report

MA Yusuff Ali's LuLu Group is also investing £300 million in various projects in the UK, including the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, the Waldorf Astoria-Edinburgh, and a food processing plant in Birmingham.


Abu Dhabi-based billionaire MA Yusuff Ali is set to acquire British bottled water brand Harrogate Spring Water, the Times of India reported.

Yusuff Ali, the owner of LuLu Group, confirmed to the publication that he does plan to acquire “a British spring water brand,” but did not disclose the name of the company. “The deal will be finalized in two or three months’ time,” Ali was quoted as saying in the report.

“The deal to acquire Harrogate Spring Water is in the final stage and it is expected to be completed during the first half of the current calendar year itself,” the report quoted a source as saying. Harrogate Spring Water was being retailed at LuLu supermarket chain.

Harrogate Water Brands, one of Britain’s oldest bottled water brand, owns and manages the Harrogate Spring Water and Thirsty Planet brands. Harrogate Spring Water Limited, with total assets worth £15 million until March 2017, is based in the original British spa town of Harrogate.

It is the official water brand for the Hockey Women’s World Cup 2018 to be held in London in July. It also has a three-year agreement with England and Great Britain Hockey.

Harrogate Spring Water in 2014 invested £8 million in production facilities, and expanded its bottling plant off Harlow Moor Road in 2017, according to the

Yusuff Ali was at the top position among the UAE-based expat billionaires, ahead of Landmark Group chief Micky Jagtiani, according to Forbes’ annual list of billionaires released on March 6, 2018. Ali’s wealth totaled $5.5 billion according to Forbes, putting him at No. 388 on the list.

Yusuff Ali , who has been called the Middle East retail king by the magazine, heads over the $7.4 billion LuLu Group, that has 132 stores in the Gulf region.

Yusuff Ali is also investing in real estate projects in the United Kingdom. “We are investing £300 million in various projects that include ‘Great Scotland Yard’, the old headquarters of the Scotland Yard, The Waldorf Astoria-Edinburgh, and a food processing plant in Birmingham,” he was quoted as saying in the report. The hotel will be opened at the end of 2018, he added. The original Scotland Yard headquarters is being given a makeover and transformed into a luxury hotel, Forbes reported. The custom-built 92,000 sq ft hotel will be called the Great Scotland Yard Hotel.

The group acquired the Scottish hotel, the Caledonian, a former Victorian railway hotel, overlooking the Edinburgh Castle, for £85 million earlier this year.

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