BUSINESS IN SHORT

Kofola buys Vinea

SOFT drink producer and distributor Kofola has bought the rights to the popular soft drink Vinea from Slovak wine producer Vitis Pezinok.

SOFT drink producer and distributor Kofola has bought the rights to the popular soft drink Vinea from Slovak wine producer Vitis Pezinok.

Marián Šefčovič, Kofola's director general, stated on February 20 that the companies agreed on the transaction in late 2007 and signed the contract on January 31, 2008, the SITA newswire wrote. The price of the transaction was not revealed.

"We learned that Vinea was on sale about a year ago," Šefčovič said. "Based on our knowledge of the soft drinks market, we see great potential for the Vinea brand and, therefore, we decided to express our interest."

"The sale was part of Vitis Pezinok's strategic plan," Dušan Hecht, Vitis Pezinok's director general, said.

Kofola will produce Vinea in its plant in Rajecká Lesná.

Vinea holds the top position in the Slovak grape-based soft drinks market.

Vinea and Kofola share a similar history as soft drinks whose production started during communism in Czechoslovakia. Both companies experienced a drop in sales after the fall of the regime, and both rebounded after massive advertising campaigns.

Vinea is a natural product manufactured without any colorants.

Kofola is one of the most significant soft-drink producers in Central Europe. Apart from Slovakia it operates in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and other countries.

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