BBH acquires 49.9% of Vena

BBH acquires 49.9% of the Vena brewery in St. Petersburg from Carlsberg Breweries (CB). Prior to this transaction, CB owns 99.9% of Vena after the acquisition of the 33.3% share owned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The remainder of the share capital is owned by local minority shareholders. As of October 2003, BBH has an option to buy Carlsberg Breweries' remaining shareholding in Vena.

Both transactions are subject to approval from the Russian competition authorities.

Selling Vena to BBH is a natural step in the process of concentrating the ownership and, consequently, the overall operating responsibilities for Carlsberg Breweries' activities in Russia, the Baltic countries and Ukraine with BBH, which has more than 10 years of experience in operating breweries in the countries mentioned. The sales will have an insignificant effect on the Carlsberg Breweries' results for 2001.The transaction is subject to approval by the Russian competition authorities.

Vena has today a capacity of 120 million litres annually. Since the beginning of 2000, the strategy of Vena has been to aim at the fast growing premium beer segment in Russia with the brands Nevskoye and Tuborg (licensed). Vena's market share in St. Petersburg is 12-13% (October 2001) and in Moscow approximately 5.5%. Vena's product portfolio fits very well with that of BBH. Vena is currently implementing an investment program of USDm 27 to double the capacity to 240 million litres by summer 2002.

Key figures for Vena in the first six months of 2001 (first six months of 2000 in parentheses):
Volumes, million litres: 55 (25)
Net revenues, DKKm: 273 (95)
Number of employees: 650 (445)

BBH is owned 50% by the Finnish brewery Hartwall and 50% by Carlsberg Breweries (CB). CB is owned 60% by Carlsberg A/S and 40% by Orkla.