Schloss Wachenheim AG - Konzern


Ad-hoc-bulletin: Sektkellerei Schloss Wachenheim further strengthens market leadership in Poland

Tuesday, 30. November 2004

Group subsidiary Ambra acquires leading specialist for Bulgarian wine / major gains in market shares for that segment and vermouth

Wachenheim, December 1, 2004. Just a few months ahead of the planned initial public offering of its Polish subsidiary Ambra S.A., Sektkellerei Schloss Wachenheim AG has taken yet another step in further developing its business operations in Poland. By way of a capital increase, Ambra acquired a majority interest in Poland's market leader for Bulgarian wine - Vinex Slaviantsi Poland. That gives the Wachenheim Group - already the world's leading producer of sparkling wine, with production running at some 200 million bottles annually - a good opportunity to further consolidate their market leadership in Poland's wine market.

Even before the acquisition, Ambra already commanded about 50 % of the Polish fizzy wine market and 25 % of the country's wine market per se (wine, sparking wine, vermouth). With a market share of about one-third, Vinex Slaviantsi is Poland's leading specialist for Bulgarian wine, and their products are very popular among Polish consumers, thanks in part to long-standing trade relations between erstwhile Eastern Bloc countries.

Consumers love Rosenthaler Kardarka and Bear Blood
Vinex Slaviantsi Poland Sp. zo.o. was established in 1998 as an export subsidiary of one of the oldest and most well-known viticultural estates in Bulgaria's Sungurlare Valley. With such popular labels as Rosenthaler Kardarka, Bear Blood, Chateau Slavyantsi and Ciociosan vermouth, the company takes in around eight million EUR a year. Ciociosan comes in eight different flavors and is one of the best-known vermouth labels in Poland. This acquisition not only significantly increasedAmbra's market share of Bulgarian wine, but also decidedly augmented its share of the local vermouth market.

Ambra accounts for one in four bottles of wine
Ambra S.A. was established in 1992. Sektkellerei Schloss Wachenheim acquired a majority interest in the company in 1995. In mid-2004, the Group expanded its ownership of Ambra from just under 89 percent to 100 percent. In the meantime, Ambra has emerged as an umbrella for Wachenheim's entire eastern-European business scope in Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic. Now that the Group has discarded its unprofitable vodka operations in Poland, this subgroup is generating consolidated sales revenues totaling some 74 million EUR.

Every fourth bottle of wine consumed in Poland comes from Ambra. The company not only sells the three leading brands of sparkling wine - Dorato, Cin&Cin Spumante and Michelangelo - and a number of other sparkling wine labels, but also the most popular vermouth (Cin&Cin), the best-selling wine (Fresco) and the leading party drink for kids (Piccolo).

IPO right on schedule
Ambra is scheduled to make its initial public offering via the Warsaw stock market in the spring of 2005. The Wachenheim Group hopes this will yield some fresh capital for use in further expanding production and sales in one of Europe's fastest growing markets. Poland and its population of 38.6 million joined the European Union in May of 2004.