Oaktree Cans Plan to Sell Stock Spirits

Oaktree Capital has nixed plans to sell European alcohol producer Stock Spirits, Reuters reported. The firm had reportedly examined several options for an exit, including a $513 million float of the company’s stock. Stock Spirits makes a number of alcohol brands, including Polish vodka Czysta de Luxe and Czech plum brandy.

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity group Oaktree Capital has dropped plans to sell Stock Spirits, one of central Europe’s biggest alcohol producers, the company said on Wednesday.

Oaktree had been looking at various options for Stock Spirits, the producer of high-end Polish vodka Czysta de Luxe and Czech plum brandy.

A source close to the discussions told Reuters last month that Oaktree wanted to float Stock Spirits in an offer worth some 350 million euros ($513.4 million) after failing to sell it to Diageo (DGE.L), the world’s top spirits group.

“Oaktree Capital has been, and continues to be, fully committed to the group’s strategy and plans, and the business will continue to benefit from the substantial investment they have already made in the brands, people and facilities,” Stock Spirits said in a statement.

Analysts estimate the British-based Stock Spirits is the leader in the Polish $2.3 billion vodka market, with a 27 percent share, just ahead of Central European Distribution Corp (CEDC.O) at 26 percent, then Belvedere (BEVD.PA) at 19 percent, Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA) at 11 percent and Diageo less than 2 percent. (Reporting by Maciej Onoszko and Chris Borowski; Editing by Mike Nesbit) ($1=.6817 euros)