The two companies join forces to reach new markets.

Blossa Glögg is a famous Swedish mulled wine owned by Altia. A different blend is released every Christmas, and some people even collect the empty bottles. In the taste of Blossa Aloha 19 Glögg one can find hints of passion fruit and hisbiscus flowers. Photograph: Altia Oyj

Altia Oyj, Finland’s wine and spirits company, famous for its Koskenkorva vodka brand, among others, is set to join forces with Arcus AS, a Norwegian wine and spirits company.

In a joint press release from the boards of directors of Altia and Arcus, the two companies announced their plans to merge and thereby form a “leading Nordic wine and spirits brand house.” The new, combined company will be called Anora Group Plc, or simply Anora Group, the release stated.

Christmas aquavit is distilled from grain and potatoes and flavored with spices such as dill. Arcus is the world-leading producer of aquavit. Photograph: Arcus AS

“Anora will offer a unique portfolio of iconic local, regional and global brands,” the companies also noted, adding that the new company’s aggregated annual revenue is €640 million in 2019. The company will employ around 1,100 people in the Nordics and Baltics. The combined cash flow, according to the statement, makes Anora Group well positioned for international expansion.

Koskenkorva vodka is manufactured in a plant located in the village of Koskenkorva in Ilmajoki in Southern Ostrobothnia. The plant is equipped with cutting-edge technology. Photograph: Milja Fromholtz

The terms of the merger state that Arcus will be merged into Altia and dissolved, while the shareholders of Arcus will receive 46,5% of shares in Altia.

The completion of the merger is expected in the first half of 2021. In the meantime, both companies will have to approve the transaction at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) and acquire all necessary regulatory approvals as well.

CEO Pekka Tennilä of Altia. Photograph: Tomi Parkkonen

The new CEO of Anora Group will be Pekka Tennilä, current CEO of Altia, and the group’s CFO will be Sigmund Toth, current CFO of Arcus.

Pekka Tennilä explained that the merger will “provide significant growth potential in exports and create better possibilities to bring our iconic brands and sustainable Nordic drinks experiences to new markets.”

The shares of Anora will still be listed on the Helsinki Nasdaq, but the company will also seek a second listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

As the press release pointed out, Anora Group “will continue Altia’s and Arcus’ targeted work to improve sustainable production and to develop a modern and responsible drinking culture.”

Photograph on the cover: Antti T. Nissinen / Flickr