• Reports suggest Stock Spirits sale due soon
  • Oaktree still considering IPO
  • CEO sees sale/IPO as when, not if
Is an auction for Stock Spirits coming soon?

Is an auction for Stock Spirits coming soon?

Stock Spirits has declined to comment on reports suggesting that an auction by its parent company is imminent.

Citing people "familiar with the matter", Reuters reported yesterday (13 January) that Oaktree Capital Management, which owns the central European spirits firm, will put Stock up for sale in the near future, for “US$1bn-plus”. The report did not specify a time-frame for the move, but noted that Oaktree has not ruled out an IPO for the unit.

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Stock confirmed that Oaktree had appointed Credit Suisse in November, to “review the strategic options for the group”. The spokesperson would not be drawn on the Reuters report, however.

Speaking to just-drinks last year, Stock's CEO, Chris Heath, confirmed that Oaktree would either sell or float the unit in the future. “That is the way private equity works,” he said at the time, declining to comment further.

Stock was created through the integration of spirits producers Stock and Polmos Lublin in 2007. Headquartered in the UK, the group has manufacturing, sales and distribution operations in Czech, Italy and Poland, and sales and distribution facilities in the US, Slovakia and Slovenia.