Oaktree Capital will offer 25% of Stock Spirits in the IPO

Oaktree Capital will offer 25% of Stock Spirits in the IPO

Oaktree Capital is set to launch an initial public offering for its Stock Spirits division.

The US-based private equity group, which set up Stock Spirits after it bought Polish distiller Polmos Lublin in 2006 and Stock Plzen in Czech a year later, confirmed earlier today (26 September) that it will launch a private placing, which will value the unit in the region of GBP600m (US$961.6m) to GBP700m. Oaktree expects to remain Stock's largest shareholder following completion of the flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

“An IPO is the next logical step to support the company’s ambitious growth plans,” said CEO Chris Heath. “We are extremely excited about this next phase in the company’s development.”

The IPO is expected to complete at some point next month.

In the first six months of this year, Stock's sales came in at EUR153.1m (US$206.5m). As of June, Stock held a 37.7% share of Poland’s vodka market, according to Nielsen-cited figures from the company. It also holds the top spot for vodka in Czech.

As recently as January, speculation suggested that Oaktree was set to offload Stock Spirits. The firm abandoned plans to launch an IPO in 2011, as a review of operations led Oaktree to prefer a retention of its existing ownership structure.

Diageo showed an interest in Stock two years ago, while a recent tie-up with Beam Inc in Poland led some industry observers to suggest that the two might look to work more closely going forward.

As well as its Czech and Polish operations, Stock acquired Slovak spirits company Imperator and ethanol manufacturing business Novel Ferm late last year.