Russian Standard buys 9.9% of CEDC

Russian Standard buys 9.9% of CEDC

Russian Standard Vodka has acquired just under 10% of Central European Distribution Corporation.

The Russian company, owned by entrepreneur Roustam Tariko, has confirmed to just-drinks today (30 November) that it completed the purchase of 9.9% of CEDC yesterday. The stake is the maximum any one shareholder can acquire without triggering a shareholders rights plan, introduced by CEDC in September

“Cooperation with CEDC will improve our market share in Poland, the fifth largest vodka market, as well as in other Central/Eastern European markets,” a spokesperson for Russian Standard told just-drinks today. The spokesperson also said that the company “plans to become an important player in the low- and middle-price vodka segment in Russia”. The company also intends to enter the wine sector in Russia, the spokesperson added, noting that CEDC-owned Whitehall Group, a drink distributor in Russia, “will help us” and has "unique market experience" in this area.

When contacted by just-drinks today, CEDC's president, William Carey, welcomed Russian Standard's move. “We are pleased to have among our shareholders a company with such a strong standing in one of our key markets,” he said.

US-based CEDC, which operates almost exclusively in Central and Eastern Europe, set up a 'poison pill' takeover defence earlier this year. This is designed to "deter coercive takeover tactics and to prevent an acquiror from gaining control of the company without offering a fair price to all of the company's stockholders”, it said at the time.