Lithuanian drink makers attract crowd

  • 2003-05-15

A total of 16 investors have submitted bids for majority stakes in Lithuania's four state-owned alcoholic beverage producers - Stumbras, Alita, Anyksciu Vynas and Vilniaus Degtine - the State Property Fund said.

The bidders include Mineraliniai Vandenys, Lithuania's largest wholesaler of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, the alcoholic-drink distributor Bennet Distributors, and Artrio-2, the biggest wholesaler of locally produced alcoholic beverages, the companies' executives said.

The Latvian alcoholic-drink producer Latvijas Balzams has also confirmed its intention to participate in the lucrative privatizations.

Arunas Laurinaitis, vice-president of the Achema Group, said that his company had weighed their chances and decided not to take part in the bidding process.

May 7 was the deadline for potential investors to submit their applications.

Some 30 local and foreign investors earlier purchased sets of privatization documents.

The biggest number of investors are reportedly interested in Vilniaus Degtine and Alita.

The four companies have been valued at a total of 172 million litas (49.8 million euros).

The selling price for 91.95 percent of shares in Stumbras has been set at 107 million litas, or 3.92 litas per share.

The selling price for 83.77 percent of shares in Alita is no less than 50 million litas, or 0.82 litas per share.

The selling price for a 72.93 percent stake in Anyksciu Vynas is 10 million litas, or 0.28 litas per share.

The selling price for 82.27 percent of shares in Vilniaus Degtine is 5 million litas, or 0.25 litas per share..

The four companies are quoted on the Current List of the National Stock Exchange of Lithuania.

The government expects to privatize the four companies before the abolition of the state's monopoly on strong alcoholic drinks production on July 1, 2003.