Eastern European Markets

October, the 2nd, 2008

Olvi plc acquired a majority holding in the Belarusian brewery Lidskoe Pivo

Olvi plc has acquired a majority holding in the Belarusian brewery Lidskoe Pivo through a private placing. Belarus is a natural direction for Olvi’s expansion, as Olvi plc already has brewery operations in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Lidskoe Pivo is in private ownership. After the transaction, Olvi plc is the majority shareholder with a 51 percent holding, while the remaining 49 percent is distributed evenly among the brewery’s personnel. The acquisition price is approximately USD 16 million.

Lidskoe Pivo’s operations have been profitable every year since privatisation in 1993. The brewery’s net sales in 2007 amounted to USD 30.5 million at 70 million litres of annual production volume. Beer accounted for 43 million litres of total production, with the remaining 26 million litres consisting of soft drinks, mineral waters and kvass, which is a Russian-style low-alcoholic beer. The sales volume is expected to increase by 15% on the previous year. The company was the fourth largest brewery in Belarus in 2007 and had a market share of approximately 12 percent in beers. In addition to Olvi, two other international brewery companies operate in the country: Carlsberg/BBH and Heineken. All other breweries are state-owned.

The brewery was established in 1876 and remains at its original location in the city of Lida, approximately 200 kilometres west of Minsk. Olvi plc sees good growth opportunities in Belarus in all beverage groups: beers, ciders, long drinks, soft drinks, mineral waters and energy drinks. The consumption of beer is estimated to total some 410 million litres this year or approximately 41 litres per capita, which is approximately one-half of Finland’s annual per capita consumption. The consumption of beer and other brewery products is expected to increase significantly during the next 10 years. The trend will probably be similar to that seen in Russia; a transition from vodka towards beer and increased interest in other brewery beverages as a consequence of improved prosperity. The population of Belarus is approximately 10 million.

The Lidskoe Pivo brewery is in a good technical and financial condition, and its products are of good quality. The greatest needs for investments are in logistics and sales. Production capacity will be increased. The transaction has been approved by the Belarusian government and communications authorities.

Further information:
Lasse Aho
Managing Director
Phone +358 400 203 600
Heikki Hortling
Chairman of the Board
Phone +358 17 838 5500


NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd
Key media

www.olvi.fiPhone +358 40 311 3005

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