06.09.2023 - 15:20

Inside information: Anora to sell its Larsen cognac business to International Beverage

Anora Group Plc Stock Exchange Release 6 September 2023 at 3:20 pm EEST

Inside information: Anora to sell its Larsen cognac business to International Beverage Anora has reached an agreement on the sale of its cognac business with International Beverage Holdings Limited. The divestment is in line with Anora’s 2030 growth strategy and includes Anora’s brands Larsen, Renault, Monopol and Ibis as well as the company’s production site and eaux-de-vie maturation stock in Cognac, France.

Anora has today on 6 September reached an agreement with International Beverage on the sale of its cognac brands Larsen, Renault, Monopol, and brandy brand Ibis. The transaction also includes the sale of Anora’s subsidiary Larsen S.A.S. with its production operations in Cognac, France, and Anora’s eaux-de-vie maturation stock located at Larsen. Anora will continue as the exclusive distributor of Larsen, Renault, Monopol and Ibis products in the Nordics and Baltics, including duty free and travel retail.

The decision to look into strategic alternatives for the cognac business is part of Anora’s growth strategy, which was launched in November 2022. In spirits, Anora’s central aim is to concentrate investments on selected hero brands with considerable growth potential under Anora’s ownership. The active and systematic utilisation of mergers, acquisitions, and divestments – such as the acquisition of Globus Wine and the investment in ISH in 2022 – is a key enabler for driving growth. In line with Anora’s strategy, the divestment of the cognac business enables Anora to strengthen its focus on its key hero brands supporting its long-term goal of above-market growth in spirits.

International Beverage is the international arm of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, Southeast Asia's leading beverage producer and distributor. International Beverage is already the distributor for Larsen in China and has an in-depth understanding of the brand. With its deep knowledge of the Asian market, International Beverage can focus even better on supporting the growth of Larsen’s brands in Asia. The distribution agreement in the Nordics and Baltics will continue through a working partnership between the two companies. International Beverage will also continue supplying eaux-de-vie to Anora’s Jaloviina and Xanté brands.

The agreed sales price is 54.1 MEUR and it will be paid in full at the closing of the transaction. Anora estimates that the transaction will have annual negative impacts of approximately 6 MEUR on Anora’s net sales and 2 MEUR on comparable EBITDA. In addition, the proceeds of the sale will lead to a one-time gain of approximately 8 MEUR. The final sales price is subject to closing date adjustments. The guidance published by Anora on 15 August 2023 will remain the same. The transaction is subject to ordinary local closing conditions and no regulatory approvals are required. The closing is expected to take place by the end of September 2023.

“The change in ownership of Anora’s cognac business will enable us to generate funds and concentrate efforts on our chosen hero brands, Koskenkorva, Linie and Skagerrak, which are central to our international growth ambitions set out in our 2030 strategy. The Larsen team has done exceptionally good work in developing the brand and its impressive portfolio of products, setting it on a path for growth in USA and especially in Asia. In the hands of International Beverage, Larsen will have the attention and resources to take the next steps on its pioneering journey towards further growth and even greater success,” says, Pekka Tennilä, CEO of Anora.

“We are delighted to welcome Larsen Cognac and their team to International Beverage, along with the Renault, Monopol and Ibis brands. Cognac is one of the most dynamic categories in spirits today, and we are extremely proud to have such an admired brand and skilled production team joining our business. The Larsen team’s dedication to excellence aligns perfectly with our ethos, and the quality of their portfolio is a perfect complement to our existing whisky, gin and rum brands. This acquisition also marks the start of a new era for International Beverage, and a strategy that will see us add high quality brands across a range of categories and markets to take our business to the next level,” says Malcolm Leask, Managing Director of International Beverage (UK).

Larsen S.A.S. employs 22 professionals in Cognac. The transaction does not have an impact on the employment of the Larsen personnel.

Further information: Pekka Tennilä, CEO

Contacts: Petra Gräsbeck Communications and Sustainability Director petra.grasbeck@anora.com +358 40 767 0867 About International Beverage International Beverage is the international arm of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited. It is one of the industry's most dynamic global drinks businesses and specializes in developing distinctive, premium brands for global markets, with a portfolio that is led by a range of high-quality Scotch whiskies and some of the fastest growing premium spirits and beers. These brands are enjoyed by consumers in over 85 countries and include Old Pulteney single malt Scotch whisky, Hankey Bannister blended Scotch whisky, Caorunn Gin, Phraya aged rum, Mekhong Thai spirits, Chang Beer and Saigon Beer. www.interbevgroup.com