Constellation Brands has completed its acquisition of premium Swedish vodka brand Svedka.

The transaction, which includes the purchase of the brand’s owner, Spirits Marque One, from Guillame Cuvelier and Belgium-based Alcofinance, cost Constellation in the region of US$384m.

Cuvelier will remain on board as head of Svedka’s New York-based brand management team. The brand marketing and sales team will retain their autonomy with the ‘Svedka_Grl’ campaign continuing to promote the brand.

“Svedka will play a key role in expanding our premium spirits business by providing us with a terrific and rapidly growing vodka brand in the largest US spirits category,” Constellation chairman and CEO Richard Sands said yesterday (19 March).

Launched in 1998, Svedka sold around 1.1m cases in 2006, a 60% leap in sales volume compared to 2005.

The purchase has subsequently seen Constellation drop out of the running to buy Absolut vodka, whose owner, V&S Group, is expected to be put up for sale by the Swedish government later this year.