Russian Standard says CEDC deal may be done before end of 2011

Russian Standard says CEDC deal may be done before end of 2011

Russian Standard's owner has said that negotiations over strategic partnership with Central European Distribution Corp have reached an advanced stage, according to a report.

Roustam Tariko was yesterday (15 December) reported as telling Reuters that a deal between the two companies could be signed before the end of the year. He added that Russian Standard will achieve "management control" of Central European Distribution Corp (CEDC) if it can acquire a stake of close to 30%, as the Russia-based vodka distillers has proposed. 

Neither spokespeople for CEDC nor Russian Standard were immediately able to comment on Tariko's words. Last week, it emerged that Russian Standard is seeking to add another 19.9% of CEDC to the 9.9% stake that it already owns in the company. In exchange, Russian Standard has offered to hand unnamed assets to CEDC in order to create a "strategic alliance".  

Several analysts believe that CEDC in particular needs to do a deal, amid concern about the US-based, Eastern Europe-focused drinks distributor's ability to pay down debt.

Renaissance Capital said in a note: "We believe, for CEDC, this may be the last chance to save the company in its current state without selling the business in parts and focusing on operations, while the short-term debt pressure is relieved."