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LATVIA: Altia sets sights on remaining Jaunalko stake

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Altia will continue efforts to buy out Jaunalko after snapping up a controlling stake in the Latvian vodka maker, the company's boss told just-drinks today (4 September).

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The Finland-based company announced earlier this week that it has bought an 88% in Jaunalko, which owns the Arsenitch Vodka brand. CEO Antti Pankakoski said Altia has already targeted the remaining 12%.

“This is what we succeeded in buying in the first wave, so we will keep talking to the smaller shareholders and we will buy the rest of the share capital as well,” Pankakoski said, adding that the company hoped to do so as soon as possible.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Pankakoski said the deal was worth “a few million euros”.

Altia will now look to strengthen the position in Latvia of Arsenitch and Jaunalko's other brands including Kurland and Delo nr 5 using the company's bigger distribution platform, Pankakoski said.

Altai will then look to export Arsenitch into Estonia and Lithuania, he said.

The Jaunalko stake gives Altia Latvia a 14% market share in Latvia, second behind SPI Group-owned Latvia Balzams, Pankakoski noted.

In 2010, Altia acquired several Nordic drinks brands from Pernod Ricard, including Explorer vodka, Lord Calvert whisky and Renault Cognac, and earlier this year bought Xanté Co from the Swedish Tilander family.


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