Stock Spirits prepares to float on London stock exchangeBy Becky Paskin
Stock Spirits Group is preparing to float on the London stock market next month as “the next natural step in the company’s development”.
The UK-headquartered spirits producer and distributor, which operates primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, plans to raise £52 million by selling at least a quarter of its shares.
Majority owner Oaktree Capital Management, along with other company management, will also sell shares in the IPO, although they will remain the majority shareholders.
Stock Spirits is currently preparing its IPO with a view to float the group on the London market by the end of October.
Stock Spirits CEO Chris Heath believes the floatation will help raise the group’s profile, provide access to global markets and allow it to progress with its “ambitious growth strategy”.
“We are very pleased to have developed strong leadership positions in the attractive Polish and Czech spirits markets as well as in important spirits categories in our other core markets. This gives us a great platform to realise our goal of becoming the leading spirits player across the Central European region.
“By leveraging the strength of our core brands and our highly successful, innovative new product development programme, we have been able to deliver sustained organic profit growth over the past five years and an IPO is the next logical step to support the company’s ambitious growth plans.”
Stock Spirits is the largest spirits group and leading vodka producer in Poland and the Czech Republic, which account for 60% and 19% respectively of its total annual revenue. It has a range of spirits across more than 25 different brands of which five sell more than one million cases annually.
Oaktree Capital had looked into selling the company in 2011, with rumours of a possible deal with Diageo circulating. However in February this year, Heath told The Spirits Business that Oaktree has “deliberately invested to create a company that has sustainability and potential for growth in the future”.