Liviko began exporting Viru Valge to Japan in 2009

Liviko began exporting Viru Valge to Japan in 2009

Estonian alcohol producer Liviko, has acquired a 50% stake in Japanese drinks import and distribution business Hanza Trading.

Liviko said today (17 June) that it has agreed to invest JPY50m (US$550,000) in Hanza, but the fee for the transaction has not been disclosed.

The deal expands Liviko's presence in Japan after the group began exporting its Viru Valge vodkas and coolers to the country last year. It also spent EEK20m (US$1.6m) on a production line for low-alcohol drinks, specifically to target the Japanese market.

Liviko's CEO, Janek Kalvi, said: "A subsidiary in Japan enables us to pay more attention to the sales and introduction of Liviko’s beverages and to achieve a better and more competent presence in a market that has one of the highest consumption potentials in the world.”

In 2009, Liviko exported around 4m litres of alcoholic beverages, nearly one third of its annual production. The firm's main export markets are Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Finland and the USA. The group also has distribution business in Latvia and Lithuania.

In April, Liviko increased its distribution footprint for Bacardi-Martini Group's brands in the Baltic states to include Estonia.

For more on Liviko, click here.