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POLAND: Bialystok – Sobieski strikes back – report

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Sobieski Dystrybucja has attempted to scupper Central European Distribution Corporation's acquisition of Poland's Polmos Bialystok, according to local reports. Poland Today said yesterday (7 July) that the Belvedere-owned company is willing to up its offer for the majority stake to trump CEDC.

Citing Sobieski's CEO, Krzysztof Trylinski, Poland Today said that the company would look to pay around PLN1bn (US$292m) for the 61% stake. Press reports yesterday suggested, however, that CEDC would pay around PLN1.08bn (US$317m) in the agreed transaction.

Last month, Sobieski saw its exclusive negotiations for the stake with the Polish Treasury Ministry collapse amidst opposition from trade unions at Polmos Bialystok. Earlier this week, CEDC completed subsequent negotiations and secured an agreement with workers at the distiller. CEDC is expected to sign an agreement with the state by the end of this month.

Sobieski has offered workers improved terms than CEDC has agreed with them, giving 15 to 20 year employment guarantees, as opposed to CEDC's 10 years, Poland Today claimed. The news service cited Deputy Treasury Ministry Dariusz Witkowski saying that Sobieski would not be allowed to restart negotiations as CEDC has already been chosen to buy the stake.


Sectors: Spirits

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