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BELARUS: BBH acquisition plans hit government snag

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Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH) said its plans to buy Belarus's biggest state-owned brewery have hit a hurdle in the form of the country's government.
 
BBH announced plans to expand in Belarus last year by taking control of Krinitsa beer company, which has up to 40% of the beer market.
 
But commenting to Reuters yesterday, Adam Tlekhurai, vice-president of BBH subsidiary Baltika, said the government had failed to meet the conditions of the agreement and refused to give a controlling stake in the Krinitsa brewery in the agreed terms.
 
"We have incurred big risks. We cannot invest money anymore just like this, without receiving the shares in the plant. We will ask the government to return the money," Tlekhurai said.

Baltika was meant to buy 50% in the brewer for US$50m, a deal that was meant to be finalised in December.
 
But the government, which owns an 81% of the beer producer, has blocked a decision on a new share issue and frozen the sale of the controlling stake to Baltika.

Reuters reported that the government said negotiations were proceeding normally. However BBh said it had been in no formal talks for two months. 


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