Liquor producer and wine importer Arcus merges with Finnish Altia: – I think it will be very value-creating for shareholders

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On Tuesday, it became clear that the liquor producer Arcus will merge with the Finnish giant Altia.

Stein Erik Hagen’s Canica is the largest owner in Arcus, with just over 40 percent of the shares. John Fredriksen is also one of the store owners in Arcus through his Geveran Trading.

The merger will mean that Arcus will be merged into Altia, before it is then dissolved. Several major shareholders in both companies have already signaled that they will vote in favor of the merger, which is otherwise conditional on a two-thirds majority at the general meetings of Arcus and Altia, which will be held in November.

Hagen’s Canica will thus be the largest owner in the new, Nordic spirits giant, which has been named Anora Group Plc.

At the opening of the stock exchange, the Arcus share rose sharply from the start on the Oslo Stock Exchange. A few minutes into the trade, the share was up around 8.6 percent, traded at a price of around NOK 43.5.

Liquor giant

Arcus develops and sells spirits, and has subsidiaries in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Germany. The company is known for, among other things, Braastad aquavit, Vikingfjord vodka and Løiten aquavit.

Altia produces, markets, sells and imports spirits in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The company is behind brands such as Koskenkorva, Chill Out and Xanté, and also has Jack Daniel’s in its portfolio. Altia had sales of 359.6 million euros in 2019, corresponding to around 3.9 billion Norwegian kroner at today’s exchange rate.

Prior to the merger, Altia is valued at 300 million euros on the Finnish stock exchange Nasdaq Helsinki. This corresponds to approximately NOK 3.3 billion at today’s exchange rate.

On Wednesday morning, the Altia share rose around 13.2 percent on the Finnish stock exchange Nasdaq Helsinki. One share is traded at around 9.4 euros.

– Very satisfied

Arcus’ largest shareholder Stein Erik Hagen tells DN that he has great faith in the plans for a merger.

– I think it will be very good, we have supported it. I think it will be very value-creating for the shareholders and for the company. We are very satisfied and have great confidence that this will be good. We look forward to developing this further.

Hagen has no qualms about Arcus now being taken off the stock exchange in Norway.

– I am not such a stockbroker, but it should be listed in Finland, so it is still a listed company, and the products will still be produced in Norway and be based on Norwegian raw materials. Now we can merge the sales force and have the opportunity to increase the top line, and to strengthen these fantastic Norwegian products abroad.

Priced at 2.9 billion. kroner

The merger agreement means that Arcus shareholders will receive 0.4618 shares in the new company, Anora, for each share they own in Arcus. Thus, the three largest owners in the new company will be as follows, according to the stock exchange announcement:

  • Stein Erik Hagen, Canica as, 22.4 percent.
  • The Finnish, state-owned investment company Vake Oy, 19.4 percent.
  • John Fredriksen, Geveran Trading, 4.6 percent.

Altia’s share price on the Finnish stock exchange Nasdaq Helsinki at closing time on Monday was 8.30 euros. Arcus shareholders will receive around 31.4 million shares in the merged company. Based on this, the valuation of Arcus is around 260 million euros, or just under 2.9 billion kroner at today’s exchange rate.

According to the stock exchange announcement, the new company will continue to be listed on the Finnish Nasdaq Hensinki. On the Oslo Stock Exchange, the company aims to be listed from the time of or around the merger, for a transition period of four months. Thereafter, the shares in the new company will be taken by the Oslo Stock Exchange, the stock exchange announcement states.

Furthermore, Altia proposes to pay an extra dividend of approximately EUR 14.5 million, corresponding to EUR 0.4 per share, to all its shareholders prior to the merger.

The agreement has received support and advance guarantees from the largest shareholders in both Arcus and Altia, it is stated. The total annual turnover for the new company in 2019 was around 640 million euros. (Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and / or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link, which leads directly to our pages. Copying or other form of use of all or part of the content, can only take place with written permission or as permitted by law. For further terms see here.

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