The Polish Government has opened for business for the state-owned spirits producer Polmos Bialystok. The Treasury Ministry has called for bids for at least 51% of the company from strategic investors, with an additional 20% of the company being made available on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Potential investors can bid for a minimum of 10% of Bialystok, the Treasury said in a statement yesterday (16 December).

On Wednesday, Deputy Treasury Minister Dariusz Witkowski said that the Treasury wants to debut the state-owned company at the beginning of the second quarter of 2005, and plans to file an issue prospectus with Poland's securities and exchange commission (KPWiG) in mid-January.

Earlier French vodka maker, Belvedere SA has expressed interest in the company. In addition, Polish vodka maker Polmos Lublin expressed its interest in June of this year.

For the first nine months of this year, Bialystok posted PLN825.7m (US$262.8m) in sales, up from PLN687.5 in the same period of 2003. Net profits for the first three quarters were up by 22% year-on-year to PLN64m.

The company is the Polish spirits market leader and had a 21% market share in the first nine months of this year.