Vin & Sprit Sells US Distilleries

Sweden’s state-owned drinks group Vin & Sprit, which the government plans to sell, said on Thursday it had signed a deal to sell its Florida Distilleries business to French company Belvedere.

Vin & Sprit, owner of Sweden’s biggest spirit export success Absolut vodka, said in a statement the divestment of the U.S. liquor, juice and aroma producer was in line with its focus on its core business of strong liquor brands.

Florida Distilleries had a 2006 turnover of US $86.32 million.

Sweden’s centre-right government, elected in September after 12 years of Social Democrat rule, is planning a wide deregulation programme, including the sale of state assets.

The government plans to raise US $21.5 billion during the next three years by selling stakes in banking group Nordea, telecoms firm TeliaSonera, bourse operator OMX and unlisted assets such as Vin & Sprit.

Investment bank JP Morgan has said Vin & Sprit could be worth nearly 4 billion dollars.