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V&S's Beam stake bought by Fortune Brands

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14:23 CEST+02:00
US spirits group Fortune Brands has bought Vin & Sprit 's 10 percent stake in Fortune's beverage unit, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, for 2.8 billion Swedish crowns ($464 million), the Swedish government said on Friday.

France's Pernod Ricard won a battle in March to buy V&S, the Swedish state-owned maker of Absolut Vodka, beating out Fortune, which produces Jim Beam bourbon and owns the rest of wine and spirits company Beam Global.

The 5.6 billion euro ($8.8 billion) Pernod deal did not include V&S's stake in Beam.

Fortune had been looking to exercise a clause allowing it to buy the V&S stake, although the sides had been unable to agree on a price.

Financial Markets Minister Mats Odell said in a statement that the government had now earned a total 58 billion kronor for the assets of V&S, which will go toward paying off national debt.

Sweden is in the midst of its largest-ever privatization of state assets, an effort the government hopes, will net 200 billion kronor over the course of its four-year mandate.

Pernod said on Wednesday it had closed the V&S acquisition.

"It (the Beam deal) is a good deal ... We are very pleased with it," Odell spokesperson Sarah Lundgren said.

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