Pernod Ricard sells off Swedish brands

French drinks firm Pernod Ricard has announced its intention to sell off Explorer vodka and a slew of other Swedish and Danish labels to Finnish state-owned wine and spirit service company Altia.

Pernod Ricard sells off Swedish brands

The firm expects to generate 835 million kronor ($115 million) in the deal which is subject to the approval of the competition authorities.

A logistics depot in Årsta is also included in the deal, as well as Lord Calvert whiskey, 1 Enkelt bitter and Chill Out. Furthermore, the firm plans to dispose of a production and bottling plant in Svendborg, Denmark as well as Danish logistics centre in Odense.

The assets now up for sale by Pernod Ricard were acquired in connection with the purchase of Vin & Sprit in 2008, a deal which included the brand Absolut Vodka.

Pernod Ricard Sweden’s CEO Isabelle Ducellier comments that she has mixed feelings over the sale of some of the brands.

“The deal is correct on business lines. This transaction will assist Pernod Ricard Sweden’s increased focus on our strategic brands, not least Absolut Vodka,” she said.

The deal will increase Altia’s net turnover by €85 million ($115 million) and expand their workforce by 280 staff.

Altia is owned by the Finnish state, owns established brands such as Koskenkorva and Grönstedt and had a turnover last year of €407 and employed 950 staff.

“The acquisition is a natural step in our strategy to strengthen our presence in our home markets of the Nordic and Baltic countries,” Altia’s CEO Antti Pakakoski in a company statement.

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Swedish vodka maker hits Absolut record

Absolut Vodka smashed previous production records during the past fiscal year, shipping out 99 million litres of the popular distilled spirit from its factory in southern Sweden, the company reported on Thursday.

Swedish vodka maker hits Absolut record

Absolut, exclusively produced in the small municipality of Åhus in Skåne, broke production records during the past fiscal year, according to the annual report for Pernod Ricard, the parent company of The Absolut Company.

Both sales and sales volume increased by 6 percent.

This means that 11 million 9-liter cases, representing 99 million litres were produced, thus setting a new record for the distillery in Åhus.

That breaks down to more than 600,000 bottles produced every day.

Absolut Vodka, representing more than 400 years of vodka-making tradition, is produced from a hardy winter wheat found in Åhus.

Every bottle contains more than one kilogram of the grain.

The precursor to today’s Absolut Vodka, “Absolut Rent Brännvin” (Absolute Pure

Vodka), was introduced in 1879 by the Swedish entrepreneur and legend, Lars Olsson Smith, also known as “The Vodka King,” who used a continuous distillation process.

Since its launch in 1979, Absolut Vodka has risen to fourth largest spirits brand in the world.

It’s parent company, Pernod Ricard, claims a worldwide leading position in premium and prestige spirits, with more than €7,000 million ($10,000 million) in net sales and 18,000 employees across 70 countries.

Other brands owned by the wine and spirit giant include Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, among others.