Lithuania is preparing the privatisation of its state-owned alcohol producers and a commission drafting the concept is to propose that the companies with the poorer financial performances be sold off first, according to the local press. Wine maker Anyksciu Vynas and vodka producer Vilniaus Degtine will apparently fall into this category.

It has also been proposed that a public tender offer for the companies make up at least part of the process to keep the privatisation transparent.

The proposal is to be prepared next week before then being submitted to the government for approval.

The Lithuanian authorities are hoping to sell its alcohol producers off by July 2003, which the expiry date of the state-run alcohol production monopoly.

The Ministry of Agriculture owns 83.77% of shares in Alita and 91.95% of Stumbras,the country's two leading producers. It also holds, 72.9% in Anyksciu Vynas and 82.3% in Vilniaus Degtine.