US: CEDC prepares Whitehall Group purchase in Russia
Central European Distribution Corp. is to acquire a major stake in Russian wine and spirit importer and distributor The Whitehall Group.
The US-based company, which operates primarily in Eastern Europe, said yesterday (26 February) that it proposes to acquire a 49.9% voting stake and a 75% economic interest in the group, with an option to acquire its remaining interests no earlier than 31 December, 2013. Financial details for the purchase were not disclosed.
The Whitehall Group will continue to be led by its founder and CEO Mark Kaouffman, who will retain voting and management control over the company, said CEDC.
The investment is expected to close within the next 2 to 4 months and will be financed through a combination of cash, debt and equity.
The proposed investment, which is expected to close within the next two to four months, is subject to negotiation and execution of an acquisition deal subject to customary closing conditions, including both anti-trust and CEDC board approval. The deal will be financed through a combination of cash, debt and equity, the company said.
CEDC president and CEO William Carey said: "The premiumisation trend in Russia for purchasing luxury brands continues to develop at a strong pace. The strong market position of Whitehall will allow the company to take advantage of the growing prosperity in Russia. Mark Kaouffman has built an extremely strong business and we look forward to his continued leadership of Whitehall after our investment."
The Whitehall Group, which imports for wine companies including Concha y Toro, Constellation Brands and certain Gruppo Campari brands, has projected distribution volumes for this year in excess of 1.2m 9 litre cases with forecasted net revenues in excess of US$200m.
The group also imports and distributes brands such as Hennessy, Dom Perignon, Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot and has distribution centres in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov and Siberia.
Spain's premier wine region, Rioja, has been in heated debate over the addition of new white grape varieties to those allowed under the Rioja denomination. The introduction of several almost extinct l...
Skyy Spirits has poached a former Constellation Brands executive to head up the brand management of its namesake vodka brand....
The top ten most visited stories on just-drinks this week included news the world's number one wine group was to reduce its Australian footprint, Coca-Cola has acquired assets in Colombia and Diageo i...
Constellation Brands is looking to sell some of its wine assets in Australia....
Vina Concha y Toro has rescued its first half performance from a troublesome start, with healthy figures across the board in the second quarter of the year....
Central European Distribution Corporation has posted a healthy lift in both sales and profits for the first half of this year....
Constellation Europe has added two new wines to its Hardys range in the UK as part of a GBP12m (US$23.8m) investment in the brand....
Lion Nathan has posted a lift in sales for the first nine months of its current fiscal year, driven mainly by its purchase of J Boag & Son in January....
- Review of the Year 2014 - Part V: Wine
- just Five Years Ago - Belvedere Group's Bumpy Ride
- Review of the Year 2014 - Part IV: Spirits
- Cuba-US Normalisation: Bacardi, Pernod Winners?
- Sustainability in Wine - Part IV
- Campari to bag EUR19m with "non-core" assets sale
- Pernod wins consent for Glenlivet upgrade
- Tequila set for export boost after record 2014
- Pernod agrees Caribe Cooler sale to Grupo Bepensa
- Crimson Wine Group appoints new CEO