Oaktree Drops Plan To Sell Stock Spirits

U.S. buyout group Oaktree Capital has dropped plans to sell Stock Spirits, one of central Europe’s biggest alcohol producers, the company said. 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 sister news service Reuters last month that Oaktree wanted to float Stock Spirits in an offer worth some €350 million ($513.4 million) after failing to sell it to Diageo, the world’s top distillery 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. at 26 percent, then Belvedere at 19 percent, Pernod Ricard at 11 percent and Diageo less than 2 percent.

(Maciej Onoszko is a contractor for Reuters news service in Warsaw; additional reporting by Chris Borowski, a senior correspondent in Warsaw.)