France-based Belvedere SA, one of Europe’s largest spirits and wine producers, could buy a controlling stake in a central Russian distillery, business daily Kommersant said on Wednesday.
The Kaluga-based distillery, part of a chain run by Russia’s leading vodka producer Kristall, is currently controlled by Sergei Zivenko, the former head of the government distillery corporation Rosspirtprom. If the deal goes through, Belvedere will own one of Russia’s largest distilleries to produce its Sobieski, Yuri Dolgoruki and Tchaikovsky vodka brands, Kommersant said. Zivenko, who holds 62% in the distillery, told Kommersant that “foreign companies” were interested in the purchase, and that a deal could be closed in mid-May. The Kaluga distillery is valued at up to $100 million, and Zivenko’s stake at $62 million, the daily said. (rian.ru)