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Fortune Brands wins by losing Absolut in Sweden

Tuesday 8 April, 2008

I caught this article by Mike Hughlett in the Tribune Investors toast loss in Absolut bidding in which Fortune Brands share price rose the most in 1 day as it has in last 7 years because it didn’t win the bid for Absolut vodka owner Vin & Spirit by overpaying, as the winner Pernod Richard appeared to do. I spent about 6 months in Stockholm 1 winter a number of years ago & found the Swedes relationship with alcohol somewhat confusing. For such an open society, their restrictions on alcohol seem a bit contradictory. While beer & wine are freely available @ many retail outlets, liquor is sold only from state-owned stores during restricted hours, not unlike in the southern United States. I was told the reason is there are places in rural Sweden where people get so bored, drinking goes out of control & by restricting sales to government-owned stores, it prevents exacerbating the problem. Acqua-vit is still a staple despite these restrictions. I was glad for the Swedes that they got an even better price than expected. I’m a fan of the Swedes, so it’s good to hear them do well.  It’s 1 of the most technologically advanced places I’ve been.  They just seem to have a flair for creating useful technologies & implementing them well.  They have their own version of Silicon Valley outside of Stockholm which has numerous spinoffs from Ericsson.

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