CEDC is slowly ceding control to the owner of Russian Standard

CEDC is slowly ceding control to the owner of Russian Standard

The owner of Russian Standard is on course to take an 85% stake in Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC), a week after SPI Group signalled a swoop for the debt-laden spirits maker.

CEDC said on Friday (8 March) it has agreed to Roust Trading's US$172m amended exchange offer tabled last week. Together with other moves, including diluting existing shareholders' stock to 5% of total equity, the offer will reduce CEDC's debt by about $635m, the company said.

The amended exchange offer expires on 22 March, CEDC said.

The news should interest SPI, who last Tuesday said it was considering a move for CEDC. The Luxembourg-based, Russia-originated company owns two sets of CEDC notes and claimed to be in talks with “a few strong financial players” in Russia over a deal. 

CEDC has been struggling with debt, resulting in the firm handing operational control to leading shareholder and Russian Standard owner Roustam Tariko last month in return for US$65m. Tariko also owns Roust Trading.

CEDC said on Friday that its restructuring will not affect the company's operations in main markets Poland, Russia, Hungary or Ukraine.

To read CEDC's official statement, click here.