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DENMARK: Royal Unibrew lines up Livu Alus buy in Latvia

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Royal Unibrew has increased its presence in the Baltic states with the purchase of Livu Alus brewery in Latvia.

The Danish company confirmed yesterday (15 August) that it has bought the brewer from Grigis and Co. for EUR17.5m (US$23.4m). The purchase sees Unibrew strengthen its position as the third largest brewer in the country, upping its market share of between 9% and 10% to around 18%-20%.

"The acquisition is in line with our strategy for the Baltics," said company CEO Poul Møller.
"In recent years we have made several acquisitions in Latvia as well as in Lithuania and, with the acquisition of Livu Alus, we expand an already strong Baltic business."

In Lithuania, Unibrew already owns the brewer Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe, as well as soft drinks producer Cido and the brewery Lacplesa Alus in Latvia. Last year, the company saw turnover in the Baltic states reach around EUR74m.

The final acquisition, which is dependent on approval from the Latvian competition authorities, is expected to be completed at the beginning of the fourth quarter this year. Included in the transaction is "a plot of land, which makes future expansion possible", the company noted.

Established in 2000, Livu Alus employs 125 people. Last year, net turnover at the brewer reached EUR9m.

Earlier this year, Unibrew posted a rise in losses for the first quarter. Pre-tax losses for the three-month period rose to DKK59.1m (US$10.7m) against DKK51.1m in the corresponding period a year earlier. High raw material costs and ongoing price competition in Europe were blamed for the lift.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Royal Unibrew

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