Arcus acquires strategic brands


Ratos's subsidiary Arcus has concluded an agreement with Pernod Ricard to acquire the brands Grönstedts Cognac, Star Gin, Red Port and Dry Anis.
Arcus Gruppen is Norway's leading wine and spirits supplier. The company was formed in 1996 on the initiative of the Norwegian government and privatised in 2001. The group's best-known brands include Linie Aquavit, Braastad Cognac, Vikingfjord Vodka, Hammer Gin and Upper Ten Whisky. The Swedish wine agency Vingruppen was acquired at the end of 2006. The number of employees is approximately 460.
"Acquisition of these four brands will give Arcus Gruppen a stronger presence in Sweden as well as an opportunity to grow in Finland. The deal will also generate significant synergy gains in the Norwegian product portfolio," says Arcus Gruppen's CEO Jan Tore Føsund.
The four brands are market leaders in their respective product areas and had combined sales of approximately SEK 54m in 2007. The deal will provide Arcus Gruppen with significant additional earnings.
"It is positive that Arcus has this opportunity to acquire these four strategic brands which fit in very well with our efforts to build a Nordic platform within wine and spirits," says Leif Johansson, Investment Director Ratos. 
The acquisition of Grönstedts Cognac, Star Gin, Red Port and Dry Anis is subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities including approval by the European Commission, according to its decision dated 17 July 2008. Ratos will not provide any capital in conjunction with the acquisition.
Ratos's holding in Arcus Gruppen amounts to 83%.
For further information, please contact:
Arne Karlsson, CEO Ratos, +46 8 700 17 00
Jan Tore Føsund, CEO Arcus Gruppen, +47 22 97 55 00
Clara Bolinder-Lundberg, Head of Corporate Communications Ratos, +46 8 700 17 63