The announcement comes as the company signs a binding heads of terms for the buyout of the remaining stake in Kauffman vodka’s parent company the Whitehall Group.
The final purchase price of $91.5 million includes all the remaining economic and voting shares not currently held by CEDC, as well as the global brand rights for the Kauffman vodka brand. Of the total purchase price, approximately $26 million constitutes the value of the Kauffman vodka brand, according to CEDC's estimates, with the remaining $65.5 million representing the value of the remaining economic and voting shares of Whitehall that are being acquired.
Kauffman vodka is described as super premium and is said to hold strong presence in high-end ontrade outlets in Russia. The brand is also exported to “high-end customers” in 25 countries.
The proposed purchase of the controlling shares of the Whitehall Group is subject to anti-trust approval. The investment is expected to close within the next six weeks and will be financed through a combination of approximately $68.5 million in cash and $23.0 million in shares of CEDC.
William Carey, CEDC president and CEO, said: "We are pleased to report that this investment will provide us with 100% ownership and management control over all investments in Russia that we started in 2008. By taking full ownership and management control of the Whitehall group, we will be able to consolidate the last of the three Russian businesses into our financial results, giving a clearer picture of our financial performance. We expect the impact of this investment in the Whitehall Group to be accretive to our 2011 results."
CEDC’s produces the Green Mark, Absolwent, Zubrowka, Bols, Parliament, Zhuravli, Royal and Soplica brands, among others. CEDC’s markets include the US, UK, France and Japan.