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SWEDEN: Fortune legal action won't delay V&S sale - report

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The court action embarked upon by Fortune Brands to stop a 10% stake in its Beam Global Brands subsidiary passing from V&S to the Swedish state will not delay the sale of V&S to Pernod Ricard, a government spokesperson has said.

According to reports in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, the injunction filed by Fortune could delay the Swedish government's US$8.3 billion sale of V&S.

However, Mia Widell, press chief for Swedish financial markets minister Mats Odell, who presides over the state's asset sales, told the newspaper that the court action won't affect the sale of V&S.

"It's two separate processes," she said. "No party has any interest of delaying the deal. There's no doubt that the (Beam Global) shares will be sold to Fortune Brands."

The newspaper suggested that the sale could be delayed as V&S enters into arbitration with Fortune.

As reported on just-drinks yesterday (14 May), Sweden's V&S Group, the maker of Absolut Vodka, has confirmed it has received an injunction seeking to prevent the transfer of its 10% stake in Beam Global to the Swedish Government.

Fortune Brands, which owns a 90% stake in Beam, filed the court papers on Monday in a US District Court in Manhattan.

The drinks giant wants to repurchase V&S's stake but has been unable to agree on a "fair market value" for the shares, according to the court papers.


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