Brown-Forman has announced today that it has reached agreement with the Altia Corporation of Finland (Altia) to acquire the remaining 20% of the capital stock of Finlandia Vodka Worldwide Ltd. (FVW) for €46.8m. Brown-Forman and Altia have jointly owned FVW since 2000.

Brown-Forman acquired 45% of FVW in 2000 and an additional 35% in 2002. The 2002 acquisition agreement granted Altia an option to require Brown-Forman to buy its remaining interest in FVW during a two-year window beginning on 31 December this year. The new transaction reflects Altia's exercise of that option, and will give Brown-Forman 100% ownership of FVW. Closing is expected to occur on or before 31 December. Altia, the leading Finnish wine and spirits company, will continue to produce the vodka as exclusive supplier of Finlandia to Brown-Forman.

Brown-Forman has marketed and sold Finlandia Vodka for Altia in the US since 1996. After it acquired a majority equity interest in 2003, Brown-Forman assumed distribution and marketing responsibilities for the brand in almost all global markets as well.

"Finlandia is one of the largest premium vodka brands in the world, and holds a leadership position in several markets," said Paul Varga, CEO of Brown-Forman Beverages. "Premium vodka continues to be an exciting and competitive segment for our industry, and we believe the brand has excellent opportunities for profitable growth."

Finlandia Vodka is a premium vodka from Finland and is sold in more than 100 countries around the world.