GERMANY: Holsten to offload fruit juice business to concentrate on beer

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Holsten-Bruerei AG has announced plans to dispose of the fruit juice operations of its subsidiary Emig AG of Rellingen, so that it can concentrate on its brewing and marketing business.At a meeting on December 22 shareholders will be asked to approve the transfer of all fruit juice manufacturing from Emig to a new company Erpel mbH & Co KG.Holsten, which owns a 65% stake in Emig, will then sell Erpel if the minimum sale price is agreed. The proposed sale is also conditional on the agreement of the remaining Emig private shareholders.Once Erpel is sold Emig will retain its mineral water and soft drinks manufacturing at two plants in Lehnin and Trappenkamp. Currently Emig produces around 7m hectolitres of fruit juice annually at Calvoerde and Waibstadt in Germany and at its Polish factory and employs 550 staff. Once the sale of Erpel is complete output in the Trappenkamp and Lehnin regions will be around 3m hectolitres, a turnover of DM172m ($75.4m).Holsten was forced to downgrade its 2000 forecast of the financial year due to the cool, wet summer.

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