A court in Dijon in France has approved the restructuring plan of Belvedere, the French vodka producer which owns Sobieski, the popular Polish vodka brand. In July 2008 the producer was granted six months’ protection from creditor-led bankruptcy by the French court. In January 2009 the protection was extended for another six months. However, in mid-April creditors which own around 50% of Belvedere’s bonds petitioned the Polish district court to declare the Polish subsidiaries insolvent. At present Belvedere owes €550m.
The plan stipulates that the company will have to pay its debt in instalments between 2010 and 2015. The group intends to acquire money from the sale of its redundant assets, such as the Marie Brizard liqueur brand and its wine production division. It will, instead, focus on the production of strong spirits. The group plans to concentrate on increasing the sales of Sobieski vodka, which is to be introduced on the Chinese and Indian markets.
In the first half of 2009 the group earned sales revenues of €424.7m, reflecting a 25.8% year-on-year reduction, and made a net loss of €21.9m in comparison with a net loss of €38.7m in H1 2008.