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FRANCE : Belvedere silent on Danzka vodka sale

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Belvedere has declined to comment on a French media report that it has finalised the sale of its Danish vodka brand, Danzka, to German counterpart GeVeMa for EUR20m (US$26.75m).

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France's Les Echos newspaper cited company sources today (28 November) as saying that Danzka is about to be sold.The group, which was placed in administration by a court in September, is under pressure to raise funds to pay off debt.

"While relinquishing assets forms part of Belvédère's recovery strategy, it is not our policy to comment on rumours," a spokesman for Belvedere told just-drinks today. Belvedere purchased Danzka in 2006 from Swedish group Vin & Sprit, then the owner of Absolut vodka and now a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard.

On Thursday this week, the Court of Appeal of Nimes is scheduled to render judgement on whether or not to prolong Belvdere's period in adminstration. It could even order the Sobieski vodka maker's liquidation. 

"We are confident ahead of this hearing," the group spokesman said. "Belvedere s business is growing and cash-flow is being generated." Earlier this month, Belvedere announced an 8.1% rise in nine-month sales, to EUR649.4m.

In October, the group's new CEO, Krzysztof Trylinski, said: “My priority objective is to clear the debts of Belvedere. This will be made possible very quickly by the sale of two brands.”


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