The race for Polmos Bialystok appears to be finally over. Central European Distribution Corporation said today (5 July) that it has agreed terms and conditions with the trade unions at the state-owned distiller.

CEDC said in a statement that it has initialled the main points of the social package together with the unions, and will be moving to sign the social package very soon. Further details of what the package contained were not released

The Polish Treasury Ministry also announced yesterday that the share purchase agreement should be signed next week, CEDC added.

In the statement, William Carey, chairman and CEO, said, "We look forward to working with the Polish Treasury Ministry to sign the Share Purchase Agreement and still expect to close the transaction within the third quarter 2005 subject to the anti-monopoly office approval."

The announcement follows exclusive talks between CEDC and the Polish Treasury Ministry about a 61% stake in Bialystok. The remaining 39% was floated on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in May.

The announcement is a blow for Belvedere-owned Sobieski Dystrybucja, which saw talks with the Ministry break down last month amidst protests from workers at Bialystok. Polish rival Polmos Lublin had also been in the running to buy the stake.