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Carlsberg To Take Over 51% Of Celarevo Brewery

Danish brewer Carlsberg signed a 53m euros deal on Oct 2 to take over 51% of Serbian brewery Celarevo, also pledging to make a public offer for the remaining 49% of shares at 43.12 euros per share.

The company was sold for eight times its estimated value of 6.4m euros, said Celarevo General Manager Mirko Stupar. The third largest Serbian brewery has 1.2k shareholders, 480 of whom work in the company, said Stupar, noting that each shareholder will raise an average of 41k euros from the sale.

The buyer pledged to invest substantial funding over the next seven years to boost production and sales of Celarevo's brand Lav, as well as its own Tuborg and Carlsberg beers. It also promised not to axe jobs over the next three years and offered lump-sum payments for voluntary redundancies.

The Serbian market has laid good foundations for the arrival of foreign companies, said Carlsberg Breweries Executive Vice President Paul Bergqvist, adding that the acquisition will help it strengthen position in the Balkans.

Serbian Privatisation Minister Aleksandar Vlahovic said that Carlsberg's arrival confirms rising investor confidence in Serbia and noted that the country will wrap up its beer industry privatisation at the end of next year with the sale of three local breweries.

(NewsBase 06.x.03)

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