Spirits group Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has commenced a public offering of 9.5m shares of its common stock, as it looks to raise finance for its acquisition of Russian Alcohol. 

The underwriters have been granted an option by the company to purchase up to an additional 950,000 shares, CEDC said today (13 November).

Concurrently with the offering, CEDC is proposing to offer around US$870m aggregate principal amount of US dollar and euro-denominated senior secured notes due 2016.

The move comes in an offering to institutional investors that will be exempt from registration under the US Securities Act of 1933.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering and the concurrent offering of its senior secured notes to purchase the remaining equity interests in Russian Alcohol Group from private equity firm Lion Capital.

The company intends to repay all amounts outstanding under the Russian Alcohol credit facilities and call for redemption all of the company's outstanding senior secured notes due 2012. It will also repay amounts outstanding under an existing credit facility at one of the company's operating subsidiaries.

Jefferies & Company and UniCredit CAIB Securities UK Ltd are acting as joint book-running managers and joint global coordinators and Renaissance Securities (Cyprus) Limited is acting as co-lead manager for the offering.

Earlier this month, CEDC posted a huge leap in profits for its third quarter.