Oaktree Capital Management LLC, the owner of Poland and Italy’s largest vodka maker Stock Spirits Group, is testing investor appetite for an initial public offering of the company, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
JPMorgan (JPM:US) Chase & Co. and Nomura Holdings Inc. are speaking to investors ahead of a possible IPO this year, the people said, asking not to be named as details aren’t yet public. No final decision has been made and a sale may not happen, they said.
In early 2011, Oaktree hired Unicredit SpA and Nomura to help manage an attempted IPO, according to people familiar with the situation at the time. That came after potential bidders including Diageo Plc and Bain Capital LLC balked at the asking price for Stock Spirits, said to be more than 700 million euros ($929 million). Stock Spirits said later that year it would continue to be owned by Oaktree.
In February, Sky News reported that discussions between Pamplona Capital Management LLP and Oaktree to acquire Stock Spirits broke down on a disagreement over the company’s reported 590 million-pound ($918 million) price tag. Stock Spirits’ attempt comes as IPO volume in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have risen about 75 percent to $8 billion this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Spokespeople for Oaktree, JPMorgan and Nomura in London declined to comment on the IPO. A spokesperson at Stock Spirits couldn’t immediately comment.
Stock Spirits, which was acquired by Oaktree in 2007 according to its website, reported revenue of 292.4 million euros in 2012, slightly below 2011 revenue of 295.1 million euros. Global sales volume now totals over 140 million liters annually, the site said.
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