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Auction to begin on home of Absolut vodka

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11:12 CET+01:00
Sweden is set to begin its sale of state-owned wine and spirits manufacturer, Vin & Sprit.

The government said it would contact all interested parties over the course of the day before beginning an auction process, Minister for Financial Markets Mats Odell announced at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

"We are now coming to the end of the preparatory phase and the beginning of a more active phase. We expect a transaction to be made public next year," sad Odell.

The minister said that the government had decided to conduct the sale in the form of a bidding process in order to maximize the value of Vin & Sprit.

Vin & Sprit has been valued at 40 billion kronor ($6.15 billion).

A number of leading drinks makers have expressed an interest in the Swedish company since the government announced its privatization plans in March of this year. These include Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Fortune Brands and Bacardi.

The Swedish state is the sole shareholder in Vin & Sprit, which owns the Absolut vodka brand.

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