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Stock Spirits acquires Slovak producer

Stock Spirits Group has acquired Slovak spirits company Imperator, taking the company a step closer to becoming Central and Eastern Europe’s largest spirits business.
The new combination moves Stock into a strong number two position in the overall Slovak spirits business, with clear market leadership in the herbal bitters category and a very strong number two position in both fruit distillates and vodka.  

Chris Heath, Stock Spirits Group CEO, commented: “We are very pleased to have acquired Imperator as we continue to expand our brand portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe. We are confident that the combination of our existing brands in Stock Slovakia together with the Imperator brands will give us both the scale and coverage to help grow in the market in the future.  We are also excited by the new opportunities that this will create to develop our business, the acquisition being firmly in line with our aim of being the leading spirits company regionally.”
Stock Slovakia is already a leading player in the herbal bitters category with an almost 50% overall market share through its brands Fernet Stock, Fernet Stock Citrus and Fernet Stock Z-Generation. The business is also strong in the whisky category with Tullamore Dew, and in vodka with two new and rapidly growing  brands - Vodka Amundsen and Vodka 1906.  Meanwhile Imperator, having grown rapidly since its establishment 15 years ago, has major strengths in the fruit distillates and borovicka spirit categories.
In a further development, Stock has also acquired Novel Ferm, a high quality ethanol manufacturing business located near Rostock in north east Germany.  The company is a very modern and high quality producer of alcohol, established seven years ago with a production capacity of 20 million litres of ethanol per year. Its output will be used to supply Stock manufacturing plants in Poland and the Czech Republic, focusing in particular on premium quality products. The move allows Stock to ensure that it has strategic control over the supply of the primary raw material for its brands.

About Stock Spirits Group
Stock Spirits Group is a leading Central and Eastern European branded spirits and liqueurs business, with core operations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia, Stock also exports to around 50 other countries worldwide. Global sales volumes currently total over 140 million litres per year.
Stock holds the market leadership positions in both Poland and the Czech Republic, where it has invested in state of the art production facilities, and is one of the top vodka producers globally.  This includes having the number one leading vodka brands in Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic. Core Stock brands include products made to long-established recipes such as Stock 84 brandy, Fernet Stock bitter and Limonce, as well as recent creations like Stock Prestige and Czysta de Luxe vodkas, Fernet Stock Z Generation bitter and Limonce Amaro.
Current brand highlights include:
• Lubelska flavoured vodka based liqueur sales growing at 24.3% in the off trade in Poland, with market share increasing to 32.5%.

• Keglevich Vodka sales growing at +3.1% in the off trade in Italy, with market share increasing to 28.7%.

• Fernet Stock Original sales growing at a 1.76% in the off trade in the Czech Republic,  increasing market share to 32.91%.

Stock was created through the integration of Eckes & Stock and Polmos Lublin in 2008 and is backed by Oaktree Capital.

17 December 2012 - Felicity Murray