POLAND: CEDC appeals Jablonna purchase block
Central European Distribution Corporation has filed an appeal over an attempted acquisition in Poland.
The US-based company last week saw its purchase of Jablonna, the controlling shareholder in Polish vodka producer Polmos Lublin, blocked by the Polish Anti-Monopoly Office. CEDC said yesterday (23 May) that it filed an appeal with the office on Friday (19 May).
"We believe we have filed a very strong appeal that addresses the primary concern expressed by the Anti-Monopoly office in its decision, namely our potential combined share of the flavoured vodka market," William Carey, CEDC's president and CEO, said. "Our appeal clearly states our view that the potential flavoured vodka market share of the combined company would be closer to 40%, which is much lower than the 52% claimed in the decision.
"Our appeal also includes a number of legal points that we believe were not properly addressed in the current decision."
Carey said that even if the appeal fails, CEDC will cobtinue to look at acquisitions in Poland. "Our current market position in production and distribution is well below the 40% threshold, which is the measure commonly used by the Anti-Monopoly office in approving acquisitions."
According to CEDC, the Polish government plans to privatise five distilleries this year. "We will continue to look at quality companies to acquire that fit our geographical distribution needs," Carey noted.
CEDC became the largest vodka producer by value in Poland late last year when it completed the long-running acquisition of Polmos Bialystok, a race in which Polmos Lublin was also a competitor at one point.
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