Stock Spirits’ largest shareholder Oaktree exits in £200m sell-off

 
Oliver Smith
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CENTRAL and eastern European spirits producer Stock Spirits Group saw its biggest shareholder, Oaktree Capital Management, sell its 36.8 per cent stake in the firm yesterday.

The private equity firm exited Stock Spirits, which listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market in October, via the placing of 72.6m shares at 275p – raising nearly £200m for Oaktree.

The price was at an 11 per cent discount to the Stock Spirits’ closing price on Monday.

Oaktree had tried to sell its stake in Stock Spirit in 2011 and pursued a possible deal with the world’s biggest spirits group Diageo.

Shares in Stock Spirits fell 9.9 per cent yesterday to close at 277p. The firm is currently trading nearly 20 per cent above its listing price.

While the Stock Spirits lock-up period was due to last until 22 April, Oaktree said last week that JP Morgan and Nomura had both agreed to waive the lock-up period agreed prior to the firm’s float.

Stock Spirits was formed in 2007 when Oaktree merged Czech Republic-based Eckes & Stock with Poland’s largest spirit company Polmos Lublin, creating one of the biggest vodka makers in eastern Europe.

BEHIND THE DEAL
JP MORGAN CAZENOVE | NICHOLAS HALL

1 Nicholas Hall is a 17-year veteran of JP Morgan Cazenove, having joined the firm via its acquisition of Cazenove in 2004.

2 Hall has a history of working with Stock Spirits Group having advised on its initial public offering which raised £206.5m for the firm achieving a valuation of £470m.

3 He also advised on Melrose’s £1.8bn takeover of German manufacturer Elster in 2012 which saw Melrose shareholders agree to the biggest rights issue of the year to fund the deal.

Also advising...

Along with Nicholas Hall from JP Morgan Cazenove, Andrew Forrester from Nomura also acted as joint bookrunner and placing agent to Oaktree for the placing of 72.6m shares. From Berenberg Chris Snoxall, as well as a team from Gossler & Co, was also appointed to act as selling agent.