Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has closed its acquisition of an 85% interest in Copecresto Enterprises Limited, which owns the Parliament vodka trademarks in Russia and abroad.

CEDC, the largest vodka producer in Poland also said yesterday (13 March) that, as a result of the acquisition, it was raising its full year net sales and earnings guidance.

In a statement, the New York-listed company said that the total consideration for the acquisition is US$180.3m in cash, and 2.2m shares of common stock of CEDC, of which $15m is in cash and 250,000 shares are deferred pending the closing of certain subsequent fixed asset purchase transactions.

The cash component of the purchase price is financed through a combination of the proceeds from CEDC's recent $310m convertible notes offering and existing cash.

William Carey, president and CEO, said: "We firmly believe that this closing marks the beginning of a new era in our development in one of the fastest growing spirit markets in the world. We are excited to begin work with the management team of Parliament to continue to develop the Parliament vodka brand locally and internationally as well as targeting new imported wine and spirit agency business to leverage Parliament's sales force.

"As a result of closing this transaction, we are raising our full year 2008 net sales guidance from $1.30bn - $1.40bn to $1.42bn - $1.52bn and our full year comparable fully diluted earnings per share guidance from $2.08-$2.18 to $2.25-$2.40."

Sergey Kupriyanov, vice-president and CEO of Parliament, added: "On behalf of the shareholders and management of the Parliament Group we are confident that CEDC's decision to develop its business in Russia, one of the leading global spirit markets was the proper one. The dynamic growth of the premium Russian spirits market over the past few years was driven not only by higher consumer demand for products such as ours, but also supported by a favourable and stable legislative environment."

Kupriyanov continued: "Parliament owns one of the widest and strongest distribution systems in Russia which provides a platform for the development of other brands as well. The marketing, financial and managerial experience that CEDC is contributing to the Parliament business will accelerate its dynamic development in and outside of Russia. The Parliament Group management's knowledge and understanding of the Russian spirit market will be a important asset for CEDC to support the further development of the Company in a consolidating Russian market"

Renaissance Capital acted as financial advisor for the transaction.