Fortune sues Vin & Sprit over Beam shares

A lawsuit filed by Fortune Brands against Vin & Sprit may delay the sale of the Swedish drinks group to France’s Pernod Richard, writes the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

At issue is Vin & Sprit’s 10 percent stake in Beam Global Spirits & Wine.

Fortune Brands, which had long been considered the favourite in the bidding for Absolut vodka maker V&S, owns the remaining 90 percent of Beam shares.

According to an agreement, Fortune has the right to buy back the stock owned by V&S.

But Sweden’s financial markets minister Mats Odell has said that the Beam stock will be transferred to the Swedish state for sale at a later time.

The sale is expected to generate 3 to 5 billion kronor ($500 to 830 million).

Fortune Brands sued for an injunction in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday, and in Södertörn District Court in Sweden in an attempt to stop the transfer of the stock.

The dispute may delay the planned July completion of the 55 billion kronor sale of V&S to Pernod Richard.