International brewing giant Carlsberg announced on Friday that it will sell just less than a 50-percent interest in the local Vena brewery to Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH). Once the deal is finalized, Vena, one of the country's fastest-growing beer companies, will come under the management of Russia's biggest brewery holding. BBH owns 75 percent of local Baltika breweries, 60 percent of the Yarpivo brewery in Yaroslavl and controlling stakes in Tula's Tulskoye Pivo, Don-pivo in Rostov-na-Donu, Zo lotoi Ural in Chelyabinsk and Krasnodar-based Pikra. BBH holdings account for 29 percent of all Russian beer production. According to Carlsberg spokesperson Margreth Skov, the company's decision to sell the stake in Vena was based on BBH's wide experience in managing beer-production plants in Russia. "We had only one brewery in Russia, while BBH was managing six," Skov said. "So the decision just seemed logical to us." According to Sofia Rogulina, an analyst with the NIKoil brokerage, the value of the 50-percent stake in Vena would be worth between $45 million and $50 million, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
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