Estonia/Japan: Liviko buys half of Hanza Trading

22 June, 2010

Estonian alcohol producer AS Liviko has acquired 50% of a Japanese alcohol import and distribution company.

AS Liviko has undertaken to invest 50 million yen in Japanese company Hanza Trading Co. The parties are not disclosing the amount of the transaction.

Janek Kalvi, CEO of AS Liviko said: “A subsidiary in Japan enables us to pay more attention to the sales and introduction of Liviko’s beverages and to achieve a better and more competent presence on a market that has one of the highest consumption potentials in the world.”

Liviko started to export Viru Valge Coolers and Viru Valge vodkas to Japan last year. In 2009, AS Liviko invested 20 million Estonian kroons in a production line for low-alcohol beverages. According to the company, products made on the new line use a “complex production technology comply with the Japanese legal and health protection requirements, which differ from those applicable in Europe, and thus meet the requirements of the Japanese market”.

Liviko currently exports five products of the Viru Valge range to the Japanese market: Viru Valge Cooler Pink Grapefruit, Viru Valge Cooler Greenapple, Viru Valge Watermelon vodka, Viru Valge vodka and Viru Valge Special Anniversary vodka.

AS Liviko had been preparing for the export of its products to Japan since 2006, conducting market research and developing flavours and products especially for the Japanese market.

In 2009, AS Liviko exported about 4 million litres of alcoholic beverages, which is nearly one-third of its own production. AS Liviko’s main export markets are Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, and the USA. The internationally best known brands of AS Liviko are Vana Tallinn liqueurs and Viru Valge vodkas.

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