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UK: Oaktree Capital silent on latest Stock Spirits rumours

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Oaktree Capital has declined to comment on reports that it is set to launch an IPO for its Stock Spirits division.

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The US-based private equity firm, which set up Stock Spirits after it bought Poland's Polmos Lublin distiller in 2006 and Czech's Stock Plzen in 2007, is considering its options for Stock after Diageo ended its interest in the unit in April. Speculation has suggested in recent months that Oaktree will either sell Stock, or float the unit.

Citing “a person familiar with the plans” yesterday (31 May), Reuters has claimed that "Stock Spirits will float in Warsaw next month, with Oaktree selling 30% to 50% of the company, waiting to unload more of its 100% in a few years".

The IPO could be worth around EUR350m (US$500m), a source told Reuters.

When contacted by just-drinks, however, a spokesperson for Oaktree would be drawn on the report.

Speaking to just-drinks last year, Stock's CEO, Chris Heath, confirmed that Oaktree would either sell or float the unit in the future. “That is the way private equity works,” he said at the time, declining to comment further.

Earlier this year, Diageo and a number of private equity groups expressed interest in acquiring Stock. However, just-drinks understands from sources that Diageo has since withdrawn its interest.


Sectors: Mergers & acquisitions, Spirits

Companies: Diageo

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