Thu, 22 Oct 2020

HELSINKI, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Finland's alcoholic beverage producer Altia announced on Tuesday its merger with Arcus ASA, Norway's largest wholesaler of wine and liquor. The new entity will be called Anora Group.

Altia is owned 36 percent by the Finnish state and became publicly listed in 2018. The main owner of Norway's Arcus is investment company Canica. In the new Anora Group, the state of Finland will have a 19.4-percent stake, while Canica will have 22.4 percent, according to a press release issued by Altia.

The Finnish government expressed its support for the merger. A government press release noted that the merger will create a strategic opportunity for the new enterprise to enter the alcoholic beverage markets outside the Nordic countries as well.

Tytti Tuppurainen, Finland's minister for European affairs and ownership steering, was quoted in the release as saying that the new Anora Group will be headquartered in Finland and listed only on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Tuppurainen noted that demand for Finnish grain will grow as Altia distilleries will contribute to current Arcus products as well.

The merger will be finalized in November. It will also require the approval of the competition authorities.

Altia and Arcus currently employ some 1,100 people. Their combined turnover (business volume) last year was 640 million euros (751 million U.S. dollars).

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