Ratos’ Arcus-Gruppen Buys Majority of Excellars

Private equity firm Ratos’ portfolio company Arcus-Gruppen will buy a 51% stake in Norwegian wine wholesaler Excellars. The purchase price is roughly $11.7 million, the firm said Monday. Arcus-Gruppen is one of the largest wine suppliers in the Nordic region. The deal is expected to close in September.


Ratos’s subsidiary Arcus-Gruppen has signed an agreement to acquire 51% of the shares in the Norwegian wine wholesaler Excellars AS. The purchase price (Enterprise Value) amounts to NOK 65m. The seller is Geir Eikeland through Exworks AS.

Excellars is Norway’s sixth largest wine supplier with brands that include Allesverloren, Casa Vinicola Botter, Francois Lurton and Vignobles André Lurton. Sales in 2010 totalled NOK 94m with an operating profit (EBITA) of NOK 21m.

“Like our own wine operations, Excellars has been highly successful in the Norwegian market in recent years. Excellars has many best-sellers among its wines and will complement the rest of the Arcus product range well. Together Arcus-Gruppen and Excellars will be the leading wine importers in Norway,” says Arcus-Gruppen’s CEO Otto Drakenberg.

Arcus-Gruppen is Norway’s leading spirits producer and one of the largest wine suppliers in the Nordic region through Vingruppen, Vinordia and Arcus Wine Brands. The group’s best-known spirits brands include Braastad Cognac, Linie Aquavit, Løiten and Vikingfjord Vodka. In 2010 sales totalled NOK 1,632m with an operating profit (EBITA) of NOK 131m. Ratos’s holding in Arcus-Gruppen amounts to 83%.

The purchase price for the acquisition (Enterprise Value) amounts to NOK 65m (approximately SEK 75m). The acquisition will most likely be financed entirely with existing credit facilities in Arcus-Gruppen. The acquisition is subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be completed in September.