Henkell & Co Gruppe has expanded its presence in Eastern Europe with the acquisition of 75% of Lithuanian distributor Filipopolis.
The move sees Henkell increase the number of countries it operates subsidiaries in to 22.
Filipopolis, based in Kaunas, is one of the leading importers and distributors of alcoholic drinks within Lithuania and had earnings of €7 million last year, according to Henkell.
Within the Baltics, Henkell acquired Budampex in Estonia in 2008 and founded Henkell & Co Baltic in Latvia in 2011.
While Filipopolis has already distributed Henkell’s Törley brand in the past, the company will extend its portfolio to include further international brands belonging to Henkell with an aim to capitalise on positive sparkling wine trends.
Filipopolis managing director and owner Liudas Zukaitis said: “The partnership with Henkell & Co is an ideal connection for our company. The group’s Europe-wide expertise in sparkling wine is of particular interest to us.
“Additionally, our integration into the Henkell & Co Gruppe gives us direct access to a powerful international network for sparkling wine, wine and spirits. We are all very pleased with this fantastic opportunity.”
Ruta Žukaityte, Filipopolis head of marketing, added: “Sparkling wine is an established category within Lithuania and the import segment is growing. The new opportunities are sparkling. So we are very pleased that we can now introduce Lithuanian consumers to the broad portfolio of Henkell & Co Gruppe brands.”
Andreas Brokemper, spokesman for the Henkell & Co Gruppe management, said: “Lithuania is the sparkling wine market with the highest levels of consumption in the Baltic. We are optimistic that we can also establish our international core brands in Lithuania and through the now complete pan-Baltic representation of our company, become even more attractive for our customers.”
The announcement follows a deal last month in which Henkell bought a majority stake in Spanish cava producer Freixenet for just under €220 million.
Currently chief executive of GreenV – an international group of companies active in the horticultural sector – van Karnebeek spent a large portion of his career at Heineken, working in commercial, marketing and general management positions. He served as chief commercial officer at the Dutch brewer from 2015 until 2021.
The facility combines the existing Kerry office in Barcelona with a new customer suite and application labs. It will enable the company to work more closely with its customers in Southern Europe to develop food and beverage solutions.
The sweet and culinary flavor creation labs are the latest addition to the company’s expansive campus that has been in operation since 1964, spanning more than 312,150 square feet in Brabrand, Denmark. The innovation hub is home to more than 400 employees engaged in research, application development, ingredient and flavor creation.