Finland's Altia ties up with Norway's Arcus in liquor, wine merger

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OSLO (Reuters) - Finnish alcoholic drinks maker and distributor Altia ALTIA.HE has agreed to buy Norwegian rival Arcus ARCUS.OL in an all-share deal, the two companies said on Tuesday.

Altia’s current shareholders will own 53.5% of the combined group, which is to be renamed Anora, while the owners of Arcus will hold a 46.5% stake, according to the deal.

“The merger will form a wine and spirits brand house with leading presence across the Nordics with a relevant market presence also in the Baltics,” the companies said.

The combined entity had revenue of around 640 million euros ($747 million) in 2019 and currently employs around 1,100 people in eight countries.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the aim is to complete the deal in the first half of 2021.

Norwegian billionaire Stein Erik Hagen’s Canica investment company is set to become the single biggest shareholder with a stake of 22.4%, while the Finnish government will hold 19.4% of the combined firm.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Louise Heavens