Highland Spring has bought Greencore’s loss-making bottled water business for £17.5m.

The deal which includes Campsie Spring in Lennoxtown, near Glasgow, and Blaen Twyni in Wales will make Highland Spring the UK’s biggest bottled water company. It will have 400 employees, five bottling plants and 12 production lines with a capacity of 700 million litres a year.

Greencore said it was selling the loss-making company to focus on its core businesses, with the proceeds of the sale being used to reduce debt.

In the year to 28 September 2008 Greencore Water sustained pre-tax losses of £3.8m.