Central European Distribution Corporation has struck a deal with labour unions at state-controlled Polmos Bialystok over a so-called "social package" and is close to acquiring a 61% stake in the distiller, Bialystok board member Henryk Wnorowski has told PAP.

"Labour unions representatives as well as CEDC representatives informed the management board that the compromise was reached in terms of the social package," Wnorowski said. "I think that the deal with the Treasury Ministry is closer now."

The ministry released a statement late yesterday (4 July) claiming the negotiation exclusivity has run out, but did not reveal any additional information.

"(The) Treasury Minister decided on a successful expiration of exclusivity granted to CEDC," the statement reads.

The benefits package for workers at Bialystok covers job retention guarantees and future salary increases. The Polish Press Agency said on Friday that the package includes a 10-year employment guarantee for current workers.

CEDC is the second firm to enjoy exclusive talking rights for the stake after French-owned Sobieski Dystrybucja failed to secure a deal. Both companies have encountered resistance from labour unions.

A minority stake in Bialystok debuted on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in mid-May.

Speaking to just-drinks earlier today, a source close to the situation said: "The situation remains very positive for CEDC." The source added that local reports have suggested a deal will be finalised by 15 July.


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