3/10/1999 15:00 

Carlsberg A/S and the Finnish company Oy Marli Ab have today agreed that Carlsberg will sell 60% of its shareholding in Vingaarden A/S.

The agreement means that Vingaarden will continue as an independent company in the wine and spirits trade. Following the agreement, it is the intention to further expand Vingaarden's current activities in the Swedish market in the near future.

Vingaarden's management is expected to take active role in coordinating and developing wine and spirits imports, sales and distribution of the new group. Vingaarden and Marli have several business relations in common, including Seagram which has world class products like Chivas Regal and Martell.

The agreement is subject to due diligence and to approval by the authorities and is expected to be implemented in May/June 1999.

An agreement has also been reached regarding, respectively, Carlsberg's sale and Marli's purchase of the remaining 40% of shares. The option can be exercised by either party after a period of three years.

Vingaarden's current Managing Director, Peter Sangaard, 64, has expressed a wish to retire and will do so on April 30, 1999. Sales Director Peter Schaltz has been named as his replacement. Peter Sangaard is expected to continue as a member of Vingaarden's supervisory board.

Jyrki Perttunen, Oy Rettig Ab, is expected to be named as the new supervisory board chairman at the first board meeting. Vingaarden's current Chairman, Walther Paulsen, Group Managing Director of Carlsberg A/S, is expected to continue as a board member. Vingaarden's Jørgen Nielsen has been named as Finance Director.

Walther Paulsen commented on the agreement: "Our sale of 60% of the shares in Vingaarden is a natural consequence of Carlsberg's strategy of focusing on our main business area - the production and sale of beer and soft drinks. We are very pleased that the agreement with Marli will secure Vingaarden's continued development in the Nordic market. We already have excellent business relations with Marli's parent company, Oy Rettig Ab, through the Finnish brewery Sinebrychoff, and we look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship with them in Vingaarden."

Tom V Weymarn, CEO of Oy Rettig Ab Group, commented: "To Rettig the Vingaarden and Göte Andersson acquisitions represent a commitment for continued investments in the beverage industry. These acquisitions will create substantial opportunities partly through expanding our geographical scope and partly via Vingaarden's competence platform especially in wines".

Jyrki Perttunen, Managing Director of the new Marli Vingaarden Group said: "The combination of Marli and Vingaarden creates an excellent platform for building a Nordic beverage house that specializes in wine and spirits imports, sales and distribution as well as local juice and alcohol production. We believe that by combining Marli's strong presence in Finland with Vingaarden's know-how of acting in free alcohol markets creates value for our owners. On the other hand it is clear that we need to further strengthen our position especially in Sweden in order to become truly Nordic."

Vingaarden works within the wine and spirits trade with activities in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. The company employs a staff of 190 and achieved a turnover of approx. DKK 650 million in the financial year 1997/98.

Oy Marli Ab is a subsidiary of Oy Rettig Ab. The company's main activities include production and sale of juice and fruit- and berry-based alcohol beverages, together with agencies within the wine and spirits trade. The company is expected to have 315 employees at the end of 1999 and to have a turnover of DKK 750 million in 1999.