The Georgian Ministry of Economy has set a date for the auction of the bottling licence for Borjomi mineral water to 20 March 2009.
The licence currently held by Georgian Glass & Mineral Waters, a Salford Capital Partners Inc-owned company, will be sold for a minimum of $8m according to Civil Georgia, an online publisher.
GG&MW has held the licence since 1997, when the government granted the business a 10-year licence to bottle the water, which has been a popular choice in Georgia and surrounding countries such as Russia and Ukraine for centuries. The company also exports to the rest of the world.
The brand-owners told reporters they had experienced uncertainty over Borjomi production due to related to short-term extensions of the licence, the battle against counterfeit products, as well as Russia’s import ban on Georgian mineral waters in 2006.
Companies interested in putting forward a bid for the licence can apply to Georgia’s Economic Ministry from 19 February to 19 March 2009.