Drinks firm Stock Spirits plans London share market float

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Private equity-backed drinks maker Stock Spirits plans to sell at least a quarter of its shares in a London listing next month, it said on Thursday.

The British-headquartered firm, which is the biggest vodka producer in Poland and the Czech Republic, said it would raise 52 million pounds ($84 million) by selling new shares to pay down debt.

Both majority owner Oaktree Capital Management, the U.S. private equity group, and company management will also be selling shares in the offering, although Oaktree will remain the group's largest shareholder following the float.

Oaktree looked at selling Stock Spirits in 2011, pursuing a possible deal with the world's biggest spirits group Diageo (LSE:DGE) and then later considering a listing on the Warsaw bourse before eventually deciding to keep hold of the company.

Stock Spirits, whose drinks range from high-end Polish vodka to Italian brandy, was established in 2007 when Oaktree merged Czech business Stock with its Polish counterpart Polmos Lublin, which the private equity group had acquired a year earlier.

On Thursday it said revenue for the first half of 2013 was 153.1 million euros, up from 134.4 million in the same period last year, while core earnings for the same period were 34.3 million euros compared to 28.5 million euros a year earlier.

JP Morgan and Nomura are acting as joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners on the initial public offering, while Jefferies is also a joint bookrunner.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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