SWEDEN: Handling rumours "the easy part" for Vin & Sprit - CEO
Speculation over the last year regarding the future of Vin & Sprit has failed to disrupt operations at the Swedish state-owned company, according to its CEO.
The future of V&S was thrown ito doubt late last year, when a change in Government in Sweden led to the incoming ruling party confirm it was considering selling off the asset. Since then, rumours have suggested that Fortune Brands, Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi are all interested in buying the company, which owns the Absolut vodka brand.
Speaking to just-drinks in London today (20 November), Bengt Baron said: "I think that the organisation has handled it (the speculation) fantastically. We've talked a lot about it, which has been the easy part. The tough part is to focus on the business. We're here to run a business and when we do that everything will take care of itself one way or another and then we'll deal with what comes out of it one way or another."
When asked if the lack of movement on the issue - with no set timeframe for a decision currently in place - had proved frustrating this year, Baron said: "Not really - I think it would be much more frustrating if we didn't have a good story to tell. We can show that the business is growing in the right direction. We've got a foundation to grow both internationally and locally. That's what makes us tick."
The company is still unaware of a timetable for any announcement by the Swedish government on the matter, with an IPO also thought to be an option. "We don't really worry about it," Baron continued. "We're here to run a business, and we're not very different from a lot of other companies out there. We'll try to make sure that we're as interesting to talk about tomorrow as we are today."
General consensus is that a decision on V&S's fate will not be made until next year.
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