Eckes AG has sold Stock Plzen in Czech, according to reports.

The German company has off-loaded the spirits producer to US investment group Oaktree Capital Management, AFX said yesterday (17 May). Financial details were not disclosed.

The news service cited Stock Plzen director Martin Petrasek as saying: "Eckes' decision is linked with its strategy to direct itself towards non-alcoholic drinks." The acquisition "will allow the company to develop further with a clear strategy for fresh expansion on Central and Eastern European markets", Petrasek added.

No-one was available for comment at Eckes when contacted by just-drinks.

Eckes' divestment of Stock was mooted as far back as 2002, with Pernod Ricard, Remy Cointreau and Vin & Sprit all rumoured to have been in the running, local reports suggested at the time. Late last year, Oaktree completed the purchase of Jablonna, which previoulsy held a 41% stake in Polish vodka distiller Polmos Lublin.

Stock Plzen controls around 30% of the Czech spirit market.