Local brands may find pandemic easier to manage

Prestige vodka owner Stock Spirits believes local brands could be better positioned to weather the Covid-19 storm compared to international players. Earlier this month, Stock Spirits reported revenue rose 15% during the first half of its fiscal year due to stockpiling in Poland and the Czech Republic, plus a strong off-trade performance that was boosted by the Covid-19 lockdown. The group said its off-trade strategy – which accounts for around 85% of its business –…

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Western Gate pens letter to Stock Spirits shareholders

Investor Western Gate has written a letter to fellow shareholders of Stock Spirits ahead of the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) next month to push for the payment of a special dividend. Earlier this month, Western Gate voiced concerns about the governance of Stock Spirits after the vodka producer dismissed its proposal to pay investors a special dividend. Western Gate owns a 10% share in Stock Spirits making it the company’s largest shareholder. In its…

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Eastern Europe: Affordability ‘biggest barrier’ to recruiting new drinkers

For all the political chill in the air, Russian demand for international spirits appears to be undimmed, and Poland is positively thriving. *This feature was originally published in the April 2019 issue of The Spirits Business Five years into the new Cold War, precipitated by Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and there’s little sign of a thaw on the political front. Yet for all the sanctions and threats of boycotts, the market for western…

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Stock Spirits buys Distillerie Franciacorta

Central and eastern European group Stock Spirits has signed a deal to acquire Italian grappa producer Distillerie Franciacorta for €23.5 million (US$27m). The deal includes the Italian firm’s entire spirits and liqueur business, along with land for the construction of a new production facility. The purchase price is up to €23.5 million (US$27m) with an additional €3m (US$3.4m) for the land, payable in three tranches. As part of the deal, Stock Spirits will obtain a…

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Stock Spirits shareholder calls for chairman’s removal

Shareholder Western Gate has called for the removal of Stock Spirits’ chairman and senior independent director over concerns regarding “significant shareholder value destruction”. Western Gate – which owns a 10% stake in Stock Spirits, making it the company’s biggest shareholder – has said it will vote against the re-election of chairman David Maloney and senior independent director John Nicolson at the upcoming AGM (annual general meeting). The investor argued that the board needs a “new…

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