Russian Standard in acquisitive mood, adds Gancia to portfolio

Russian Standard in acquisitive mood, adds Gancia to portfolio

Russian Standard has acquired a majority stake in Italy-based wine group Gancia as it seeks to capitalise on demand for wine in Russia.

The company has completed the acquisition of a 70% stake in Canelli-based Gancia, the Russian vodka producer said today (15 December). It has bought the stake for an undisclosed fee from the Vallarino Gancia family, who, according to Russian Standard, will "continue to play an important role". 

The deal will help Russian Standard in its efforts to penetrate the wine market, both in Russia and internationally. "The following strategic investment is the next step in Russian Standard’s strategy in building a vertically-integrated company, ensuring a leading position in many key categories of the beverage industry worldwide," the company said.

From January, Russian Standard will distribute and provide marketing support for Gancia’s sparkling wines and vermouths in Russia. Russian Standard's founder and owner, Roustam Tariko, said: "We have a full-scale infrastructure, experience and sufficient financial resources to build Gancia as a leading brand both in Russia and globally.” Gancia sells its wine in 60 countries.

Tariko will be president of Gancia, while Paolo Fontana will retain his position as CEO of the wine business. In its last financial year, Gancia had net sales of around EUR70m (US$90.8m) and produced around 25m bottles of wines and aperitifs.     

After announcing the acquisition of a 9.9% stake in Central European Distribution Corp (CEDC) late last month, a Russian Standard spokesperson told just-drinks that the group planned to enter Russia's wine sector. He said that the firm will use CEDC's Whitehall distributor to help it to achieve scale in the category. The Russian firm has since proposed to raise its stake in CEDC to close to 30%.