Top breweries set to merge

  • 2001-08-23
  • BNS

Lithuania's leading breweries Utenos Alus and Svyturys, plus Jungtinis Alaus Centras, which now coordinates the beer producers' operations, are to be merged into a single public company under the name of Svyturio-Utenos Alus.

Decisions as to the companies' reorganization are to be made at a meeting of Svyturys' shareholders scheduled for Sep. 14.

It is planned that Svyturio-Utenos Alus will have an authorized capital of 118.1 million litas ($29.52 million). Shares in Svyturys and JAC will be converted into shares in Utenos Alus at a rate that has not yet been disclosed.

"The date of the launch of the new enterprise will depend on when Kalnapilis is sold," announced Rimantas Eringis, managing director of Svyturys.

The Nordic group Baltic Beverages Holding decided to sell its 86.6 percent stake in Kalnapilis after the Lithuanian Competition Council ordered that one of Lithuania's three largest breweries be sold following a decision by the Danish brewery Carlsberg and Norway's Orkla Group, which controls BBH, to merge their brewing activities.

BBH has announced plans to sell Kalnapilis this autumn at the latest.

Carlsberg currently holds 58.2 percent of shares in Svyturys. BBH itself owns 57 percent of shares in Utenos Alus and controls 100 percent of shares in the company through Utenos Gerimai, a company in the process of liquidation.

Utenos Alus and Svyturys are Lithuania's largest breweries in terms of sales. According to data provided by the Lithuanian Brewers' Association, the two companies sold a total of 62.7 million liters of beer in the first seven months of this year and had a combined market share of 46.9 percent.