Russia-based importer of wines seeks to acquire 50% of Ararat brandy factory

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YEREVAN, February 13. /ARKA/. A Russia-based importer of wines Luding seeks to acquire 50% of the Ararat Brandy Factory, which produces the premium Urartu brand of Armenian brandy. The deal is expected to be closed in the near future, but the value is not disclosed, Russian daily Kommersant reported citing a source in the Russian company.

As a result, Luding will become a co-owner of the premium brand of Urartu brandy, which is supposed to be imported to Russia. Currently, a 0.5 liter bottle of the brandy in Armenian stores in Russia is available for about 5 thousand rubles.

Luding was founded in 1993 by Arthur Varzhapetyan and Armen Shahazizyan. The company’s portfolio includes Kentucky Gentleman, Lambay whiskey, Finsky vodka, Naliboki, Chateau Fonplegade wine, G7 , etc.

The company also owns a winery in the Russian province of Krasnodar with over 1.2 thousand hectares of vineyards. Besides, Luding owns a chain of Drinx liquor stores. According to its own data, the turnover in 2019 amounted to 20 billion rubles and sales to 76 million bottles.

The Ararat Brandy Factory is wholly owned by a local businessman Sargis Varzhapetyan. Luding specified that Arthur Varzhapetyan is his namesake.

In addition to Urartu, the company produces also premium brandy Sargis. The plant owns 255 hectares of land. According to some estimates, it can produce 28.5 thousand decaliters of brandy, or 500 thousand 0.5 liter bottles. The 50% of the enterprise are estimated to cost up to $5 million.

According to Russian estimates, brandy sales in Russia in 2019 increased by 4%, to 11 million decalitres. Most of it – about 7 million decalitres – are Russian-made. At the same time, market participants note the growing popularity of Armenian brandy, whose share has already exceeded 20%.

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