Stock Spirits’ Profit Rises; Owner Oaktree Considers Options

Stock Spirits Group, the biggest vodka maker in Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic, reported increased full-year sales and profit, and said market conditions should “improve slightly” this year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 17 percent to 68.2 million euros ($96.5 million) in 2010, the maker of Poland’s Czysta de Luxe vodka said today in an e-mailed statement. Revenue advanced 13 percent to 308.6 million euros.

Stock Spirits is owned by Oaktree Capital Management LLC, which may seek about 200 million euros selling a stake in an initial public offering, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News in December. Oaktree said today it is reviewing “strategic options” for the distiller, which hired Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) in November to advise on the matter.

“There are also exciting acquisition opportunities we will consider, as central and eastern Europe offers attractive growth prospects,” Oaktree managing director Karim Khairallah said in the statement. “We remain excited about the potential and opportunities that exist for the group.”

Diageo Plc (DGE) may spend 500 million pounds ($804 million) to acquire Stock Spirits, the Sunday Times reported on March 13. The U.K. distiller declined to comment on the report.

Oaktree, the Los Angeles-based investment firm led by chairman Howard Marks, acquired the drinks company in 2007, according to Stock Spirits’ website. The price wasn’t disclosed.

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