Coca-Cola HBC acquires Finlandia Vodka from Brown-Forman for $220m
22 June 2023
Coca-Cola HBC AG has acquired premium vodka brand Finlandia from a subsidiary of Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman in a deal worth $220 million.
The acquisition is being made through Coca-Cola HBC’s wholly-owned subsidiary, CC Beverages Holdings II BV, with completion expected in the second half of 2023 subject to regulatory approvals.
Finlandia was established in 1970 and is a leading vodka brand in Central and Eastern Europe with annual volumes of 2.7 million 9L cases globally, of which more than 60% is being generated within Coca-Cola HBC’s geographic footprint. Finlandia is bottled by Anora Group plc in Finland based on a long-term production services agreement and is available in pure and in several flavored versions.
Coca-Cola HBC believes the proposed transaction represents a unique opportunity for the company that “enhances its journey towards becoming the leading 24/7 beverage partner”.
Coca-Cola HBC has been distributing Finlandia and other premium spirits brands for more than 17 years and this acquisition will further enrich and strengthen its portfolio across more of its markets.
Coca-Cola HBC added that ownership of the Finlandia brand will enhance its premium spirits credentials; driving mixability opportunities with premium and super-premium non-alcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) products, helping capture more drinking occasions, and strengthening partnerships with customers in strategically important channels such as HoReCa.
“Having been associated with the distribution of Finlandia for 17 years in several markets, we are excited by this unique and regionally relevant opportunity that will support the acceleration of our on-premise business across more of our markets,” said Zoran Bogdanovic, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC.
“The proven complementarity of our premium spirits business with our strong NARTD portfolio enables us to offer solutions for a broad range of 24/7 consumption occasions, particularly socialising moments,” Bogdanovic continued. “We view this as an attractive investment and a natural evolution of our role as one of Finlandia’s distribution partners, further attesting to the strength of our time-tested and wide-ranging partnership with Brown-Forman. We appreciate the trust placed in us and look forward to creating more value for our partners and customers by capturing new opportunities with our well-rounded beverage portfolio.”
“We are pleased to pass on the ownership torch of Finlandia to Coca-Cola HBC, who has proven to be a strong and reliable partner to our brands for more than 17 years,” added Lawson Whiting, CEO of Brown-Forman.
“I am confident that Coca-Cola HBC’s growth ambitions and capabilities in premium spirits, its critical mass and executional excellence, coupled with its leading sales and distribution credentials in the markets where it operates, will accelerate Finlandia’s growth trajectory,” Whiting added.