Form 10K
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington D.C. 20549

 

 

Form 10-K

 

 

 

x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2008

OR

 

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM

COMMISSION FILE NUMBER 0-24341

 

 

Central European Distribution Corporation

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   54-1865271
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
Two Bala Plaza, Suite #300, Bala Cynwyd, PA   19004
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)   (Zip code)

 

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (610) 660-7817

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

(Title of Class)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

Not Applicable

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of the Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    ¨.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act (Check one):

Large accelerated filer  x        Accelerated filer  ¨        Non-accelerated filer  ¨        Smaller reporting company  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.):    Yes  ¨    No  x

The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of December 31, 2008, was approximately $797,718,384.30 (based on the closing price of the registrant’s common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market)

As of February 25, 2009, the registrant had 49,444,874 shares of common stock outstanding.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the proxy statement for the annual meeting of stockholders to be held on April 30, 2009 are incorporated by reference into Part III.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page

PART I

  

Item 1.

  

Business

   2

Item 2.

  

Properties

   23

Item 3.

  

Legal Proceedings

   24

Item 4.

  

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

   24

PART II

Item 5.

  

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters

   25

Item 6.

  

Selected Financial Data

   26

Item 7.

  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation

   27

Item 7A.

  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

   51

Item 8.

  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

   53

Item 9.

  

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

   97

Item 9A.

  

Controls and Procedures

   97

PART III

Item 10.

  

Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant

   99

Item 11.

  

Executive Compensation

   99

Item 12.

  

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management

   99

Item 13.

  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

   99

Item 14.

  

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

   99

PART IV

Item 15.

  

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules and Reports on Form 8-K

   100

Signatures

   101


Table of Contents

The disclosure and analysis of Central European Distribution Corporation, or the Company, in this report contain forward-looking statements, which provide the Company’s current expectations or forecasts of future events. Forward-looking statements in this report include, without limitation:

 

   

information concerning possible or assumed future results of operations, trends in financial results and business plans, including those relating to earnings growth and revenue growth, liquidity, prospects, strategies and the industry in which the Company and its subsidiaries operate;

 

   

statements about the level of the Company’s costs and operating expenses relative to its revenues, and about the expected composition of its revenues;

 

   

statements about the Company’s consummation and integration of its acquisitions, including future acquisitions the Company may make;

 

   

information about the impact of Polish, Hungarian and Russian regulations on the Company’s business;

 

   

other statements about the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions; and

 

   

other statements that are not historical facts.

Words such as “believes”, “anticipates” and “intends” may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not necessarily mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected or implied by the forward-looking statements. The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements for many reasons, including the factors described in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in this report. Other factors besides those described in this report could also affect actual results. You should carefully consider the factors described in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in evaluating the Company’s forward-looking statements.

You should not unduly rely on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statement to reflect circumstances or events after the date of this report, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should, however, review the factors and risks the Company describes in the reports it files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC.

In this Form 10-K and any amendment or supplement hereto, unless otherwise indicated, the terms “CEDC”, the “Company”, “we”, “us”, and “our” refer and relate to Central European Distribution Corporation, a Delaware corporation, and, where appropriate, its subsidiaries.

 

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PART I

 

Item 1. Business

Central European Distribution Corporation (“CEDC”), a Delaware corporation incorporated on September 4, 1997, and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as “we,” “us,” “our,” or the “Company”) operate primarily in the alcohol beverage industry. We are Central and Eastern Europe’s largest integrated spirit beverages business with our primary operations in Poland, Hungary and Russia. In Poland, we are the largest vodka producer by value and volume and produce the Absolwent, Zubrówka, Bols and Soplica brands, among others. In Russia, we produce and sell one of the leading vodkas in the premium segment, Parliament Vodka. Through our investment in the Russian Alcohol Group, referred to as RAG, we also produce and sell the number one selling vodka in Russia, Green Mark, a mainstream brand. In addition, we produce and distribute Royal Vodka, the number one selling vodka in Hungary. We also currently export our products to many markets around the world.

We are also the leading distributor of alcoholic beverages in Poland and a leading importer of spirits, wine and beer in Poland, Russia and Hungary. We currently import to those countries on an exclusive basis many leading brands of spirits and wine, including internationally recognized brands.

The production, sales and distribution of alcoholic beverages is typically a seasonal business. The fourth quarter is typically the busiest quarter and the first quarter is typically the least busy quarter. For the 12 months ending December 31, 2008, we realized almost 28% of our sales and 39% of our operating profit during the fourth quarter, as compared to 19% of sales and 13% of operating profit during the first quarter of 2008. We do not believe we are dependant on any customer in our sales activities.

In addition, measures of our revenue and long-lived assets, broken down by geographic region, can be found in Note 25 to our consolidated financial statements. and measures of net revenues, operating profit and operating assets broken down by business segment in Note 21 to our consolidated financial statements.

Our Competitive Strengths as a Group

Strong portfolio and distribution leverage in Poland—We are the largest vodka producer by value and volume in Poland. In 2008, the companies in our group produced and sold approximately 30.1 million nine-liter cases of vodka in the four main vodka segments in Poland: top—premium, premium, mainstream and economy. We have a leading import portfolio of premium wines and spirits which, together with our vodka brands, is run through our distribution network: the largest next-day delivery service in Poland. We currently import on an exclusive basis many leading brands of spirits, wine from over 40 producers and 5 brands of beer, including internationally recognized brands such as Corona, Budvar, Guinness, Carlo Rossi Wines, Concha y Toro wines, Metaxa Brandy, Rémy Martin Cognac, Guinness, Sutter Home wines, Grant’s Whisky, Jagermeister, E&J Gallo wines, Jim Beam Bourbon, Sierra Tequila, Teacher’s Whisky, Campari, Cinzano, Skyy Vodka and Old Smuggler.

We believe that being both the largest producer of domestic vodkas and a leading importer of premium wines, beer and spirits provides us with strong portfolio leverage and bargaining power to develop sales in the Polish market, including large retail chains and on-premise accounts. Additionally, our own distribution infrastructure provides us with the distribution leverage to serve independent retailers, which still represent the majority of spirit and wine sales in Poland.

Solid platform for further expansion in the fragmented Russian spirit market—Through our Parliament acquisition, and our investment in Russian Alcohol Group, we have become the largest vodka producer in Russia. Both Parliament and RAG have strong brand equity in their leading vodka brands as they are leaders in their respective categories. These brands are backed by a sales force of over 1,800 that are in the market place every day ensuring that our brands are at the forefront of the market. Parliament accomplishes this with a sales force of

 

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over 300. RAG accomplishes this with a sales force of over 1,500 employees that is separated into Exclusive Sales Teams . The Exclusive Sales Teams work within each designated wholesaler that they are assigned to cover, meaning that, day in and day out, a RAG sales person is monitoring and promoting our brands in each of the major wholesaler accounts throughout Russia. We believe this structure gives us a great advantage over our competitors who do not have such a dynamic sales system. We believe our sales structure will continue to prove effective in gaining market share especially in the next few years of expected market consolidation.

Attractive platform for international spirit companies to market and sell products in Poland, Russia and Hungary—Our existing import and distribution platforms (whether direct in Poland or indirect in Hungary and Russia) and our proven sales and marketing infrastructure in Poland, Russia and Hungary provide us with an opportunity to continue to expand our import portfolio. We believe we are well-placed financially and structurally to service the needs of existing and other international alcoholic beverage companies that wish to sell their products in these markets by taking advantage of our sales and marketing infrastructure, as Gallo Wines has recently done by signing an exclusive agency contract with us to import their Carlo Rossi wines into Russia. We have had Carlo Rossi wine as an exclusive agency brand in Poland over the last two years and, during that time, Carlo Rossi has become the number one selling wine in Poland both in value and volume terms.

Attractive market dynamics—We believe that a combination of factors make Poland and Russia attractive markets for well-positioned companies involved in the alcoholic beverages industry.

 

   

Poland and Russia have historically been large markets for vodka consumption. Poland and Russia rank as the fourth largest and largest markets of vodka in the world, respectively, by volume, where vodka accounts for over 90% of all spirits consumed in both markets. In Poland, we believe, based on industry statistics and our own experience, that approximately 60-65% of vodka sales are still made through the so-called “traditional trade,” which consists primarily of smaller stores, usually owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs, and local supermarkets. The traditional trade provides our primary source of sales, which we serve through our nation-wide next day distribution platform. In Russia, our large, dedicated sales force especially our Exclusive Sales Teams, gives us a competitive advantage over our competitors in a fragmented wholesaler environment.

 

   

As consumers in Poland and Russia demand a wider range of alcoholic beverages from mainstream to super premium in wine and spirits both domestically produced and imported, we are well-positioned to meet the demand with number one selling brands by value and volume in the domestic vodka mainstream and sub-premium categories. Unlike many of our competitors, we believe we are well-positioned to meet that demand with the combination of our market-leading domestically produced products and our exclusive import products which provide top quality and the right value proposition to meet the changing economic times.

Professional and experienced management team—Our management team has significant experience in the alcoholic beverage industry in Poland and has increased profitability and implemented effective internal control over financial reporting. William Carey, our chairman, chief executive officer and president, was one of our founders and has been a key contributor to the growth and success of our business since its inception. Our Chief Operating Officer, Evangelos Evangelou, has been with our company since 1998 and has been instrumental in leading our acquisition strategy and integration program both in Poland and Russia. Christopher Biedermann, our Chief Financial Officer, has been with the company since 2005 and has built and oversees a strong team of business analysts and internal control experts both in Poland and Russia.

Recent Acquisitions

On March 11, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates acquired from White Horse Intervest Limited, a British Virgin Islands Company, and certain of White Horse’s affiliates, 85% of the share capital of Copecresto Enterprises Limited, a Cypriot company. Copecresto owns various alcoholic beverage production and distribution assets in Russia, including the Parliament vodka brand, which is a top selling premium vodka brand in Russia.

 

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On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests, in the Whitehall Group. The Whitehall Group is a leading importer of premium spirits and wines in Russia.

On July 9, 2008, the Company closed a strategic investment in RAG through an equity investment which provided the Company with an effective indirect stake of approximately 42% in RAG. This transaction is in connection with Lion Capital LLP’s acquisition of a controlling stake in RAG. RAG is the largest vodka producer in Russia and produces leading vodka brands such as Green Mark, which is the number one vodka brand in Russia, and Zhuravli, a top selling premium vodka brand behind CEDC’s Parliament.

Industry Overview

Poland

The total net value of the alcoholic beverage market in Poland was estimated to be approximately $6 to $8 billion in 2008. Total sales value of alcoholic beverages at current prices increased by approximately 5-8% from December 2007 to December 2008. The increase was the result of increased sales value of all main groups of alcoholic products, for which we estimate the following growth: beer (by approximately 2%), spirit products (by approximately 6-8%) and wine (by approximately 10-12%). Beer and vodka account for approximately 91% of the value of sales of all alcoholic beverages.

The alcoholic beverage distribution industry in Poland is competitive. We compete primarily with other distributors and indirectly with hypermarkets. We compete with various regional distributors in all regions where our distribution centers and satellite branches are located. Competition with these regional distributors is greatest with respect to domestic vodka brands. We address this regional competition, in part through offering our customers competitive pricing, reliable service and in-store promotions of our own brands, which we believe gives us an advantage over our competitors. In addition, we have over 16 years of sales experience in establishing and developing relationships with our clients throughout Poland.

The number of hypermarkets (which have been the primary threat to alcoholic beverage distributors in Western Europe because they purchase directly from suppliers) has recently stabilized in Poland. However, various socio-economic factors also work against the hypermarkets, such as smaller average living spaces which limit consumers’ ability to buy in bulk. In addition, there has been on-going legislation that has restricted hypermarkets’ growth in order to protect smaller stores. For these reasons, we expect growth of hypermarkets to be flat in the coming years. We also expect the growth of discount stores to continue based on the same aforementioned trends in the market place.

Spirits

The production of spirits in Poland is also competitive. We compete primarily with eight other major spirit producers in Poland, some of which are privately-owned while others are still state-owned. The spirit market in Poland is dominated by the vodka market. The vodka market is broken down into four main segments: Top Premium (imported products represent 95% of segment), Premium, Mainstream and Economy. We produce vodka in all four segments and have our largest market share in the mainstream segment. Though vodka brands compete against each other from segment to segment, the most competition is found within each segment. As we have a presence in each category and have four of the top ten best selling vodka brands in Poland, and as we have approximately a 29% market share measured by value, we are in a good position to compete effectively in all four segments.

Domestic vodka consumption dominates the Polish spirits market with over 96% market share, as Poland is the fourth largest market in the world for the consumption of vodka and one of the top 25 markets for total alcohol consumption worldwide. The Polish vodka market is divided into four segments based on quality and price(*):

 

   

Top premium and imported vodkas, with such brands as Finlandia, Absolut, Bols Excellent, Chopin, and Królewska;

 

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Premium segment, with such brands as Bols Vodka, Sobieski, Wyborowa, Smirnoff, Maximus, and Palace Vodka;

 

   

Mainstream segment, with such brands as Absolwent, Batory, Zlota Gorzka, Luksusowa, Soplica, Zubrówka, Zoladkowa Gorzka, Polska; and

 

   

Economy segment, with such brands as Starogardzka, Krakowska, Boss, Niagara, Czysta Slaska, Prezydent, Z Czerwona Kartka, and Ludowa.

 

(*) Brands in bold face type are produced by us.

In terms of value, the top premium and imported segment accounts for approximately 6% of total sales volume of vodka, while the premium segment accounts for approximately 20% of total sales volume. The mainstream segment, which is the largest, now represents 47% of total sales volume. Sales in the economy segment have declined such that the economy segment currently represents 28% of total sales volume.

Wine

The Polish wine market, which grew to an estimated 95.6 million liters in 2008, is represented primarily by two categories: table wines, which account for 3.6% of the total alcohol market, and sparkling wines, which account for 1% of the total alcohol market. As Poland has almost no local wine production, the wine market has traditionally been dominated by imports, with lower priced Bulgarian wines representing the bulk of sales. However, over the last three years, sales of new world wines from regions such as the United States, Chile, Argentina and Australia have seen rapid growth. In 2008, it is estimated that sales of wine from these regions grew by 28% in value as compared to a decrease in sales of wine in value from Bulgaria of 4% in value. Also in 2008, our exclusive agency brand, Carlo Rossi, became the number one selling wine in Poland in value and volume terms replacing wines from old Warsaw Pact nations.

We believe that consumer preference is trending towards higher priced table wines. The best selling wines in Poland previously retailed for under $3 per bottle. Currently, the best selling wines retail in the $3 to $6 range. As the price point for wine stabilizes in the short term, we believe we are in a good position to take advantage of this trend as our import wine portfolio has a concentration in the $3 to $9 retail price range.

Beer

Poland is the fourth largest beer market in Europe and has been growing since 1993. Sales of beer account for 51.2% of the total sales value of alcoholic beverages in Poland. Consumption grew approximately 1.7% during 2008 to reach approximately 35.1 million hectoliters. As a result, beer consumption in Poland has reached average European Union levels of approximately 96 liters per capita per annum in 2008. Therefore, we anticipate that future growth in the beer market is likely to slow to approximately 1% to 2% per year in the next few years or even decrease 3% to 4% depending on the weather in summer months.

Three major international producers, Heineken, SAB Miller and Carlsberg, control 88% of the market through their local brands. Imported brands represent less than 2.5% of the total beer market in Poland.

Russia

Russia, with its official production of approximately 1.21 billion liters in 2008, is by far the largest vodka market worldwide, leaving its competitors behind in terms of volume. The Russian vodka market is fragmented, with the top 5 producers having a combined market share of approximately 37% in 2008 and the top eleven producers only having a market share of approximately 52%. These numbers are up from 2007 when the top 5 producers had approximately only a 28% market share and the top eleven producers had approximately a 45% market share. Further sector consolidation has been ongoing in recent years, with the potential to continue in the

 

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near term. The number of vodka producers on the market has halved over the last five years, and the number of licensed vodka and other spirits manufacturers has dropped from 351 in 2006 to 275 in 2007 and to 240 in 2008. The Russian vodka market is well protected from foreign competition and imports, mainly due to efficient mass production, limited advertising and high logistics costs, making it difficult to compete with local producers.

The competitive landscape in Russia has seen a consolidation over the last few years, and we expect this consolidation to continue in 2009. During the last year, our market share grew by value approximately 33% over 2007 results. Synergy, one of our competitors, also gained market share in 2008 albeit at a slower rate. However, according to Rosstat and Business Analytica, many of our competitors, including the Veda Group, the SPI Group, Gross, Cristall and Tatspritprom substantially lost market share in the same period.

We believe we are well-positioned to continue to gain market share in 2009 as we have the leading brands by volume and value in the mainstream and sub-premium categories, we have dedicated Exclusive Sales Teams in place, we have experienced management not only at the corporate level but also at the operating level and although the credit environment remains difficult in the region and throughout the world, we believe we are well-financed compared to our competitors. In addition, the Russian government has put in place very restrictive policies on the advertising of spirits. We believe these policies make it difficult for any competitor to buy market share by out-spending its rivals.

Spirits

Vodka consumption dominates the Russian spirits market with over 95% market share. In terms of value, the super-premium segment accounts for approximately 0.5% of total sales volume of vodka, while the sub and premium segment accounts for approximately 8% of total sales volume. The mainstream and middle-price segment, which is the largest, now represents 64% of total sales volume. Sales in the economy segment have declined such that the economy segment currently represents 28% of total sales volume.

Vodka represented 95% of the total Russian spirits market in 2008. It is estimated that the Russian market for vodka in value will continue to grow in value by over 7% per annum from 2007 to 2012, although it is also estimated that total volume in Russia may decline in 2009 and 2010. We believe this will be primarily driven by premiumization among Russian consumers. Over the next few years, we believe that some consumers will move between the premium sector and the mainstream sector. Therefore, companies like ours that have leading brands in the mainstream and premium categories are in a good position for solid growth and to capture additional market share in the next few years. We have not yet seen, nor do we expect to see in 2009, a dramatic shift to the economy sector. As noted above, the Russian vodka market is also quite fragmented, with the top five producers having only a 35% market share in 2008 as compared to a 78% market share in Poland. We believe that the Russian market will experience trends similar to those experienced in the Polish market and will continue to see further consolidation of the market as the retail infrastructure further consolidates and develops.

Wine

According to market data, Russia has relatively low wine consumption per capita (about 8 liters per year). It is expected to grow at an 8.6% compound annual growth rate during the period 2007- 2012. The Russian wine market is recovering after the crisis in 2006 caused by the introduction of the Unified State Automated Information System (USAIS/EGAIS) and bans on imports of wines from Georgia and Moldova. Renaissance Capital estimates that, the Russian wine market has grown by 10% in 2008 and will grow at an 8.1% compound annual growth rate in volume terms during the period 2007- 2012, and even more in value terms.

Currently the fastest growing category in the Russian wine market is sparkling wine. In 2008, sparkling wine sales grew 12% by volume and 22% by value terms, according to Euromonitor. Despite the fact that domestic wines prevail on the market, the share of imported higher quality wines is constantly growing. We believe we can benefit in the future from the growing Russian wine market through the import and distribution of

 

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high-margin wines and the addition of new wines to our import and distribution portfolio in Russia. We have recently signed with Gallo to import on an exclusive basis Gallo’s Carlo Rossi wine selection. Through our Whitehall subsidiary, we import wines from Constellation, Concho Toro and LVMH as well as others.

Hungary

Spirits

The Hungarian spirit market is dominated mainly by bitters and brown spirits. Currently, the most popular spirit drinks are Jägermeister, Royal Vodka, Kalinka vodka, Unicom, Metaxa and Johnnie Walker. The current significant trends in the Hungarian spirit market are the overall decrease in total spirit consumption and a pronounced move by the consumer to branded imported spirits. Our Royal Vodka brand is the number one selling vodka in Hungary. In addition, Hungary is now the third largest market for sales of our exclusive agency brand, Jägermeister.

We believe that the total size of the spirit market in Hungary is approximately 58 million liters which has declined in 2008 by approximately 6.9%. However despite the decreasing total sales volume of spirits, we believe that the share of imported spirits, the segment in which we operate, is growing (increasing 5% from 2007 to 2008, and 16.2% in the past 5 years), while the consumption of local spirits is in decline. The increasing share of import was a result of eliminated custom duty and the improving purchasing power since the EU accession, as well as the continuous marketing and advertising activities of the imported spirit brands.

The spirit market is split into two major segments in Hungary: local producers and importers. The local producers are mainly dealing with low-cost, mainstream or below, local products, as well as with premium fruit-based spirits (palinka). The import spirit market is more competitive and relatively fragmented. The major players are the market leader Zwack Unicum Zrt (with an interest in both the local and import spirit segment), CEDC in Hungary as the biggest spirit importer company, and Bacardi-Martini, Pernod Ricard Hungary, Heinemann and Brown-Forman (distributed by Coca-Cola Beverages). CEDC’s advantage in Hungary is in part its wide portfolio with the number one leading brands in the vodka, bitter and imported brandy categories, while also having key top 3 brands in the whisky, tequila and liqueur categories, as well as an experienced sales and marketing team offering premium service and building strong brand equities.

Operations by Country

Poland

We are the largest vodka producer by value and volume in Poland, and one of the largest producers of vodka in the world. We own two production sites in Poland: Bols and Polmos Białystok. In the Bols distillery, we produce the Bols and Soplica vodka brands, among other spirit brands. Bols Vodka is the number one selling premium vodka in Poland by volume and value. Soplica has consistently been one of the top ten mainstream selling vodkas in Poland. Polmos Białystok produces Absolwent, which has been the number one selling vodka in Poland for the last eight years. In addition to the Absolwent brand, Polmos Białystok also produces Zubrówka, which also is exported out of Poland to many markets around the world, including the United States, England, Japan and also France, where it is the number two imported premium vodka by volume.

We are the leading importer of spirits, wine and beer in Poland. We currently import on an exclusive basis approximately 40 leading brands of spirits, wine from over 40 producers and 5 brands of beer.

We are also the leading national distributor of alcoholic beverages in Poland by value, and we believe we offer one of the broadest portfolios of alcoholic beverages with over 700 brands. We operate in a highly fragmented market served by an estimated 170 distributors. We operate the largest nationwide delivery service in Poland, and we provide next day delivery through our 19 distribution centers, 124 satellite branches and large fleet of delivery trucks. We believe that we are the leading distributor in each category of alcoholic beverages we distribute in Poland, except for domestic beer.

 

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Brands

We produced and sold approximately 10.1 million nine-liter cases of vodka through our Polish business in 2008 in the four main vodka segments in Poland: top premium, premium, mainstream and economy.

Our mainstream Absolwent brand has been the number one selling vodka in Poland for the last eight years, based on volume and value. Bols vodka is the number one selling premium vodka in Poland and number 2 in Hungary by value. Soplica, a mainstream brand, has consistently been one of the top 10 selling vodkas in Poland. Our Zubrówka brand is the second best selling flavored/colored vodka in Poland and is exported to markets around the world. In 2008, we sold abroad approximately 166 thousand nine-liter cases of Zubrówka. In addition, we produce the top selling vodka in Hungary, Royal Vodka, which we distribute through our subsidiary Bols Hungary.

Import Portfolio

We have exclusive rights to import and distribute approximately 40 leading brands of spirits, wine and beer into Poland and distribute these products throughout the country. We also provide marketing support to the suppliers who have entrusted us with their brands.

Our exclusive import brands in Poland include the following:

 

LIQUEURS

  WHITE SPIRITS   BROWN SPIRITS   VERMOUTH &
BITTERS
  WINE &
CHAMPAGNES
  BEER   NON
ALCOHOLIC

Disaronno Amaretto

  Skyy vodka   Jim Beam   Cinzano—vermouth   Sutter Home   Guinness   Evian

Sambuca

  Tequila Sierra   Cognac Camus   Campari   Miguel Torres   Kilkenny   Badoit

Amaretto Gozio

  Cana Rio Cachaca   Cognac Remy
Martin
  Jaegermeister   Concha y Toro   Bitburger  

Amaretto Florence

  Gin Finsbury   Metaxa     Gallo   Budwar  

Amaretto Venice

  Nostalgia Ouzo   Brandy Torres     Carlo Rossi   Corona  

Cointreau

  Grappa Piave   Brandy St Remy     B. P. Rothschild    

Passoa

  Grappa Primavera   Whisky William’s     Frescobaldi    

Bols Liqueurs

  Tequila Sauza   Whisky Teacher’s     Codorniu    
    Whisky Old
Smuggler
    Piper Heidsieck    
    Whisky Glen
Grant
    Penfolds    
    Grant’s     Trivente    
    Glenfiddich     Rosemount    
    Balvenie     Trinity Oaks    
    Clan MacGregor     Terra d’oro    
    Rum Old Pascas     M.Chapoutier    
        Boire Manoux    
        Faustino    
        J.Moreau & Fils    
        Kressmann    
        Laroche    

Sales Organization and Distribution

Our business involves the distribution of products that we import on an exclusive basis and products we produce from our two distilleries (Bols and Polmos Białystok). In addition, we handle the distribution of a range of products from the local and international drinks companies operating in Poland for which we are the largest distributor for many of such suppliers.

We operate the largest nationwide next-day alcoholic beverage delivery service with 19 distribution centers and 124 satellite branches located throughout Poland. We distribute over 700 brands of alcoholic beverages consisting of a wide range of alcoholic products, including spirits, wine and beer, as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

 

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The following table illustrates the breakdown of our sales in Poland in the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006:

 

Sales Mix by Product Category

     2008         2007         2006    

Vodka

   76 %   72 %   75 %

Beer

   9 %   9 %   9 %

Wine

   7 %   8 %   8 %

Spirits other than vodka

   6 %   10 %   7 %

Other

   2 %   1 %   1 %
                  

Total

   100 %   100 %   100 %

We distribute products throughout Poland directly to approximately 39,000 outlets, including off-trade establishments, such as small and medium-size retail outlets, petrol stations, duty free stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, and on-trade locations, such as bars, nightclubs, hotels and restaurants, where the products we distribute are consumed. These accounts are serviced by approximately 650 salespeople in Poland. One of our key objectives is to distribute more of our own products over time and, to that end, we have established an incentive compensation system for our salespeople for both products that we produce and products that we import exclusively into Poland.

Beginning in 2006, we implemented a more targeted sales approach. We narrowed the focus of our domestically located salespeople by assigning each sales person to a specific channel: key accounts (hypermarkets, discount stores and gas stations), on-trade accounts or traditional trade accounts. We believe that a specific targeted sales focus in each of these channels is key to delivering future growth.

The hypermarket and discount channels require a dedicated national sales team to handle their specific requirements. This team is responsible for promoting our brands in these national chains by implementing below the line activities, such as price promotions and pallet displays.

The use of a national, dedicated on-trade only sales team, the largest sales team of its kind in Poland to date, to work closely with bar, restaurant and hotel owners provides us with a key opportunity to promote and sell our brands and build brand awareness and brand equity with consumers. This is especially important given the restrictions on media advertising for spirits. The traditional trade sales force continues to focus on the channel in Poland that is still the dominant area in terms of sales volume. In addition, each of these account groups is also assigned a marketing and merchandizing team that works in conjunction with the sales team to serve the client.

Export activities

Our export team works separately from our domestic sales team and reports directly to our Director of Export. Our primary export is Zubrówka, which is exported to the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and France, where it maintains its position as the top Premium vodka by value and volume in the French market. It is also exported to over 30 other markets with plans to enter a number of new markets in 2009. Absolwent (Graduate in export) is showing double digit growth in its key markets of the U.K., Ireland, the U.S. and Japan.

The CEDC Export team has assumed responsibility for Parliament Russian Vodka. The brand is well established within the CIS countries and is currently also exported to a number of European Union markets, with Germany being the most important export market by volume and value. Parliament Russian Vodka is a positive addition to our export portfolio. CEDC has also become a supplier of choice for both private label brands and high quality bulk spirit. Customers range from major retail chains in Europe, to premium brand owners in the United States.

Sources and Availability of Raw Materials for Spirits that We Produce

The principal components in the production of our distilled spirits are products of agricultural origin, such as rectified spirit, as well as flavorings, such as bison grass for Zubrówka, and packaging materials, such as

 

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bottles, labels, caps and cardboard boxes. We purchase raw spirit, bison grass and all of our packaging materials from various sources in Poland by contractual arrangement and through purchases on the open market. Agreements with the suppliers of these raw materials are generally negotiated with indefinite terms, subject to each party’s right of termination upon six months’ prior written notice. The prices for these raw materials are negotiated every year.

We have several suppliers for each raw material in order to minimize the effect on our business if a supplier terminates its agreement with us or if disruption in the supply of raw materials occurs for any other reason. We have not experienced difficulty in satisfying our requirements with respect to any of the products needed for our spirit production and consider our sources of supply to be adequate at the present time. We do not believe that we are dependent on any one supplier in our production activities.

Employees

As of December 31, 2008, we employed in Poland 3,262 employees including 3,132 persons employed on a full time basis.

Polish labor laws require that certain benefits be provided to employees, such as a certain number of vacation days, maternity leave and retirement bonuses. The law also restricts us from terminating employees without cause and, in most instances, requires a severance payment of one to three months’ salary. Additionally, we are required to contribute monthly payments to the governmental health and pension system. Most of our employees are not unionized, and we have had no significant employee relations issues. In addition to the required Polish labor law requirements, we maintain an employee incentive stock option plan for key management and provide supplemental health insurance for qualified employees.

Government Regulations

The Company is subject to a range of regulations in Poland, including laws and regulations on the environment, trademark and brand registration, packaging and labeling, distribution methods and relationships, pricing and price changes, sales promotions and public relations, and may be required to obtain permits and licenses to operate its facilities. The Company is also subject to rules and regulations relating to changes in officers or directors, ownership or control.

The Company believes it is in compliance in all material respects with all applicable governmental laws and regulations in Poland, and expects all material governmental permits and consents to be renewed by the relevant governmental authorities upon expiration. The Company also believes that the cost of administration and compliance with, and liability under, such laws and regulations does not have, and is not expected to have, a material adverse impact on its financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Environmental Matters

We are subject to a variety of laws and regulations relating to land use and environmental protection, including the Polish Environmental Protection Law of April 27, 2001 (Dz.U. 2006. 129.902, as amended), the Polish Waste Law of April 27, 2001 (Dz.U. 2001. 62.628 as amended), the Polish Water Management Law of April 18, 2001 (Dz.U.2005.239. 2019, as amended) and the Polish Act on Entrepreneurs’ obligations regarding the management of some types of waste and deposit charges of May 11, 2001 (Dz.U. 2001.63.639, as amended). We are not required to receive an integrated permit to operate our Polmos Białystok and Bols production plants. However, we receive certain permits for the economic use of the environment, including water permits, permits for production and storage of waste and permits for discharge of pollutants into the atmosphere. In addition, we have entered into certain agreements related to the servicing and disposal of our waste, including raw materials and products unsuitable for consumption or processing, paper, plastic, metal, glass and cardboard packaging, filtration materials (used water filter refills), used computer parts, unsegregated (mixed) residential waste,

 

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damaged thermometers and alcoholmeters, used engine and transmission oils, batteries and other waste containing hazardous substances. In addition, we pay required environmental taxes and charges related primarily to packaging materials and fuel consumption and we believe we are in material compliance with our regulatory requirements in this regard. While we may be subject to possible costs, such as clean-up costs, fines and third-party claims for property damage or personal injury due to violations of or liabilities under environmental laws and regulations, we believe that we are in material compliance with applicable requirements and are not aware of any material breaches of said laws and regulations.

Trademarks

With the acquisitions of the Bols and Polmos Białystok distilleries, we became the owners of vodka brand trademarks. The major trademarks we have acquired are: Bols Vodka brand (we have a perpetual, exclusive, royalty-free and sub-licensable trademark agreement for Poland, Russia and, as of September 26, 2006, Hungary), Soplica, which we own through Bols, and the Absolwent and Zubrówka brands, which we own through Polmos Białystok. In addition, in July of 2006, we acquired the trademark for Royal Vodka, which is produced in Poland and which we currently sell in Hungary through our Bols Hungary subsidiary. See “Risk Factors—We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights”.

Alcohol Advertising Restrictions

Polish regulations do not allow any form of “above-the-line advertising and promotion”, which is an advertising technique that is conventional in nature and impersonal to customers, using current traditional media such as television, newspapers, magazines, radio, outdoor, and internet mass media, for alcoholic beverages with greater than 18% alcohol content.

We believe we are in material compliance with the government regulations regarding above-the-line advertising and promotion. To date, we have not been notified of any violation of these regulations.

Russia

We are the leading integrated spirits beverages business in Russia with an approximate 20% market share in vodka production. Through our Parliament acquisition, we own the rights to the leading sub-premium vodka brand Parliament. The Russian Alcohol Group, the largest vodka producer in Russia has an approximate 16% (at year end 2008) market share. The Russian Alcohol Group, in which the Company has a 42% stake, is consolidated using the equity method, produces Green Mark, the number one selling vodka in Russia and produces Zhuravli, the second best selling sub-premium brand, as well as other local vodka brands and premixed drinks.

The hypermarkets and large retail chains are expanding throughout Russia with different sized formatted stores, which is expected to better cover and penetrate those areas outside of the major cities of Russia. As we have central agreements in place with these hypermarkets and large retail chains and as we have the largest trademark budget for spirits in Russia and the leverage it brings, we expect to benefit from this expansion along with the hypermarkets and large retail chains.

In 2008, The Russian Alcohol Group completed construction on a distillery in Novosibersk, a city east of the Ural Mountain Range. This new production facility has added production capabilities for the group as we continue to grab market share in the spirit industry consolidation occurring in Russia. This facility also dramatically shortens the supply chain to the eastern provinces and reduces associated logistic costs and time of delivery.

We also completed our acquisition of 75% of the economic interests in the Whitehall Group, which holds the exclusive rights to the import of such premium wine brands as Concha y Toro and Constellation Brands, as well as certain Gruppo Campari brands. The company is also involved in a joint venture with Moet Hennessy—the French spirits and champagne business of LVMH. In addition to these import activities, Whitehall is also the

 

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owner of distribution centers in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov and Siberia as well as a wine and spirits retail network located in Moscow. In February 2009, we concluded an amendment to our Whitehall share purchase agreement pursuant to which we have among other things subsequently increased our economic ownership in the Whitehall Group to 80%.

Brands

The Parliament Group in Russia, which owns various alcoholic beverage production and distribution assets, produces Parliament vodka, which is a top selling sub-premium vodka brand in Russia. It reached sales of over 3 million nine-liter cases in 2008. Parliament is also one of the leading export brands in Western Europe with sales of over 200,000 9L cases.

The Russian Alcohol Group (“Russian Alcohol”) produces Green Mark, the number one selling brand in Russia, which is in the mainstream sector, and Zhuravli, a top selling sub-premium vodka brand in Russia behind our Parliament brand. Russian Alcohol is also the largest vodka producer in Russia with 2008 sales volume in excess of 17 million nine-liter cases.

Import Portfolio

We are one of the leading importers of wine and spirits in Russia through the Whitehall Group, which we refer to as Whitehall. Whitehall has exclusive rights to import and distribute a number of brands of spirits and wines into Russia. Exclusively imported brands include the following:

 

BROWN SPIRITS

  

CHAMPAGNES

  

WINES

Hennessy    Krug    Asti Mondoro
Cortel Brandy    Veuve Clicquot    Concha y Toro
Glenmorangie    Dom Perignon    Hardy’s
Ardbeg    Moet & Chandon    Robert Mondavi
Old Smuggler       Paul Masson
Glen Grant       Nobilo
Gautier      

Sales Organization and Distribution

In Russia, Whitehall, Parliament and RAG have strong sales teams that sell direct to the key retail accounts and primarily relies on third-party distribution through wholesalers to reach the small to medium sized outlets. RAG has Exclusive Sales Teams that were introduced back in 2006. The total number of staff in Exclusive Sales Teams is over 1,500 people (42 teams) that currently cover 36 regions. The mission of these teams is to maintain direct relationships with retailers and ensure that the Company’s products are properly positioned on the shelf. Members of Exclusive Sales Teams are mostly on the distributors’ payrolls—indirectly remunerated by RAG via discounts granted to distributors. Exclusive Sales Teams exclusively deal with products of RAG and currently control deliveries to approximately 28,000 points-of-sale (which is about 33% of all points-of-sale in Russia).

The following table illustrates the breakdown of our sales in Russia in for 2008:

 

Sales Mix by Product Category

   2008  

Vodka

   49 %

Wine and spirits other than vodka

   51 %
      

Total

   100 %

Sources and Availability of Raw Materials for Spirits that We Produce

The principal components in the production of our distilled spirits are products of agricultural origin, such as rectified spirit and packaging materials, such as bottles, labels, caps and cardboard boxes. We purchase raw

 

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spirit, and all of our packaging materials from various sources in Russia by contractual arrangement and through purchases on the open market. Agreements with the suppliers of these raw materials are generally negotiated with indefinite terms, subject to each party’s right of termination upon six months’ prior written notice. The prices for these raw materials are negotiated every year.

We have several suppliers for each raw material in order to minimize the effect on our business if a supplier terminates its agreement with us or if disruption in the supply of raw materials occurs for any other reason. We have not experienced difficulty in satisfying our requirements with respect to any of the products needed for our spirit production and consider our sources of supply to be adequate at the present time. We do not believe that we are dependent on any one supplier in our production activities.

Employees

As of December 31 2008, we directly employed in Russia 1,431 employees including 1,349 persons employed on a full time basis. Including employees of the Russian Alcohol Group, in which we have a minority stake and account for under the equity method we employed 5,291 employees in Russia as of December 31, 2008.

Government Regulations

The Company is subject to a range of regulations in Russia, including laws and regulations on the environment, trademark and brand registration, packaging and labeling, distribution methods and relationships, pricing and price changes, sales promotions and public relations, and may be required to obtain permits and licenses to operate its facilities. The Company is also subject to rules and regulations relating to changes in officers or directors, ownership or control.

The Company believes it is in compliance in all material respects with all applicable governmental laws and regulations in Russia, and expects all material governmental permits and consents to be renewed by the relevant governmental authorities upon expiration. The Company also believes that the cost of administration and compliance with, and liability under, such laws and regulations does not have, and is not expected to have, a material adverse impact on its financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Alcohol Advertising Restrictions

Russian regulations do not allow any form of “above-the-line advertising and promotion”, which is an advertising technique that is conventional in nature and impersonal to customers, using current traditional media such as television, newspapers, magazines, radio, outdoor, and internet mass media, for alcoholic beverages with greater than 18% alcohol content.

We believe we are in material compliance with the government regulations regarding above-the-line advertising and promotion. To date, we have not been notified of any violation of these regulations.

Trademarks

With the acquisition of Parliament and our equity investment in Russian Alcohol we became the owners of vodka brand trademarks in Russia. The primary trademark we have acquired is the Parliament Vodka trademark. In addition through our equity stake in Russian Alcohol we indirectly own brands such as Zielna Marka (Green Mark), Zhuravli and others. See “Risk Factors—We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights”.

 

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Hungary

Brands

In July of 2006, we acquired the trademark for Royal Vodka, which we produce in Poland and which we currently sell in Hungary through our Bols Hungary subsidiary. Royal Vodka is the number one selling vodka in Hungary with market share of approximately 27.6%.

Import Portfolio

With the acquisition of Bols Hungary, we became an exclusive importer of such brands as: Jägermeister, which is the top-selling bitter in Hungary, Metaxa and others.

Exclusive imported brands to Hungary include the following:

 

CEDC BRANDS

  

LIQUEURS

  

WHITE VODKAS

  

BROWN SPIRITS

Bols Vodka    Jaegermeister    Jose Cuervo    Cognac Remy Martin
Zubrówka    Bols Liqueurs    Silver Top Dry Gin    Metaxa
Royal Vodka    Cointreau    Calvados Boulard    Brandy St Remy
   Carolans       Grant’s
   Passoa       Glenfiddich
   Galliano       Tulamore Dew
   Irish Mist      

Sales Organization and Distribution

In Hungary, we employ approximately 20 salespeople who cover primarily on-trade and key account customers throughout the country.

Employees

As of December 31, 2008, in Bols Hungary we employed 54 employees including 52 persons employed on a full time basis.

Government Regulations

The Company is subject to a range of regulations in Hungary, including laws and regulations on trademark and brand registration, packaging and labeling, distribution methods and relationships, pricing and price changes, sales promotions and public relations. The Company is also subject to rules and regulations relating to changes in officers or directors, ownership or control.

The Company believes it is in compliance in all material respects with all applicable governmental laws and regulations in Hungary, and expects all material governmental permits and consents to be renewed by the relevant governmental authorities upon expiration. The Company also believes that the cost of administration and compliance with, and liability under, such laws and regulations does not have, and is not expected to have, a material adverse impact on its financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Recent developments

On February 24, 2009, the Company and the seller amended the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement governing the Whitehall acquisition to satisfy the Company’s obligations to the seller pursuant to a share price guarantee in the original Stock Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of this amendment, the Company paid to the seller $5,876,351 in cash, and issued to the seller 2,100,000 shares of its common stock, in settlement of a

 

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minimum share price guarantee by the Company. The Company is further obligated to make an additional cash payment of $2,000,000 on March 15, 2009. Deferred payments already due under the original Stock Purchase Agreement are to be paid with €8,050,411 due on June 15, 2009 and €8,303,630 due on September 15, 2009. In consideration for these payments, the Company received an additional 375 Class B shares of Whitehall, which represents an increase in the Company’s economic stake from 75% to 80%. Additionally, if, during the 210 day period immediately following the effectiveness of the registration statement the Company is obligated to file to register the shares of Company common stock obtained by the seller in this transaction, the seller sells any of the Company common stock it acquired in the transaction for an average sales price per share, weighted by volume, that is less than $12.03, per share, the Company must pay to the seller the excess, if any, of $12.03 over the volume weighted average sales price per share of the Company’s common stock on the day the sale took place, multiplied by the total number of shares sold. Finally, the Company may be obligated to make an additional cash payment to the seller, ranging from €0 to €1,500,000, based upon whether and to what extent the price of a share of the Company’s common stock exceeds $12.03 during that same 210 day period. If the Company must make any such payment, it will receive in return up to an additional 75 Class B shares, which represents up to an additional 1% economic stake of Whitehall, based on the sized of the payment.

In addition, in connection with the execution of the amendment to the Stock Purchase Agreement, the parties also entered into an amendment to the Shareholders’ Agreement that governs the ongoing governance of Whitehall, pursuant to which the exercise price of the Company’s right to require the seller to sell, and the seller’s right to require the Company to buy, all of the capital stock of Whitehall held by the seller was increased by the time-adjusted value of any dividends paid by Whitehall.

Also on February 24, 2009, the Company signed a new credit agreement for refinancing PLN 240,000,000 of its short term debt, with substantially the same terms and conditions of the existing credit facility. The new credit agreement provides that, subject to the fulfillment of certain customary conditions, Fortis Bank Polska S.A. and Fortis Bank S.A./NV, Austrian Branch will assign their interests as lenders under the existing credit facility to Bank Polska Kasa Opieki S.A. The new credit facility will accrue interest at an initial interest margin over the Warsaw Interbank Offer Rate of 2%, an increase of 80 basis points over the existing credit facility and will extend the maturity date from March 31, 2009 to February 24, 2011. The Company must repay PLN 60,000,000 on August 24, 2010, and PLN 180,000,000 on February 24, 2011.

We are engaged in discussions with Lion Capital to restructure the current agreement regarding the buyout of the remaining 58% stake in the Russian Alcohol Group, the largest spirit producer in Russia. Although the discussions are not final, and remain subject to further legal, accounting and tax analysis, as well as board approval, we are in general agreement with Lion Capital on the main commercial objectives. We expect an agreement would include a fixed price for the remaining 58% interest in the Russian Alcohol Group that we do not own (including the conversion of our $103.5 million plus accrued interest of loan notes) at a valuation that is more reflective of current market conditions and the positive sales performance of the business. Our payments would be spread out over 5 years ending in the year 2013, with smaller payments for 2009 and 2013 and more equal payments from years 2010 to 2012, and we would agree to certain security arrangements to Lion. We would not take control over the Russian Alcohol Group until 2011, though we would receive significantly enhanced minority rights. We would expect to finance the transaction over the 5 years through a combination of cash, debt and equity. We cannot provide any assurances as to whether, or on what terms, we may reach an agreement to restructure our arrangements in respect of the Russian Alcohol Group.

Corporate Operations and Other

The Corporate Operations and Other division includes traditional corporate-related items including executive management, corporate development, corporate finance, human resources, internal audit, investor relations, legal and public relations.

 

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Taxes

We operate in the following tax jurisdictions: Poland, the United States, Hungary, Russia, and the Netherlands. In Poland, Russia and Hungary we are primarily subject to Value Added Tax (VAT), Corporate Income Tax, Payroll Taxes, Excise Taxes and Import Duties. In the United States we are primarily subject to Federal and Pennsylvania State Income Taxes, Delaware Franchise Tax and Local Municipal Taxes. We believe we are in material compliance with all relevant tax regulations.

Excise taxes comprise significant portions of the price of alcohol and their calculations differ by country. In Poland and Russia, where our production takes place, the value of excise tax rates for 2008 amounted to PLN 45.5 ($15.4) and RUB 173.5 ($5.9) per liter of 100% alcohol.

Research and Development

We do not have a separate research and development unit, as new product developments are primarily performed by our marketing department. Our activity in this field is generally related to improvements in packaging and extensions to our existing brand portfolio, or revised production processes, leading to improved taste.

Available Information

We maintain an Internet website at http://www.cedc.com. Please note that our Internet address is included in this annual report as an inactive textual reference only. The information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this annual report and should not be considered part of this report.

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. We make our annual report, on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, amendments to those reports and most of our other SEC filings available free of charge through our Internet website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file these materials with the SEC. You may read and copy any document we file with the SEC at the SEC’s public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference room. These filings are also available to the public over the Internet at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, we provide paper copies of our SEC filings free of charge upon request. Please contact the Corporate Secretary of the Company at 1-610-660-7817 or at our address set forth on the cover page of this annual report.

We have adopted a code of ethics applicable to all of our officers, directors and employees, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer (who is also our Principal Accounting Officer). The code of ethics is publicly available on the investor relations page of our website at http://www.cedc.com. We intend to disclose any amendment to, or waiver from, any provision in our code of ethics that applies to our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer by posting such information in the investor relations section of our website at http://www.cedc.com and in any required SEC filings.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Risks related to our business

We operate in highly competitive industries, and competitive pressures could have a material adverse effect on our business.

The alcoholic beverages distribution and production industries in our region are intensely competitive. The principal competitive factors in these industries include product range, pricing, distribution capabilities and responsiveness to consumer preferences, with varying emphasis on these factors depending on the market and the product.

In Poland, with respect to individual customers, we face significant competition from various regional distributors, wholesalers, who compete principally on price, in regions where our distribution centers and satellite

 

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branches are located. The effect of this competition could adversely affect our results of operations. The majority of alcohol sales in Poland are still made through traditional trade outlets. Other sales are made in hypermarkets and large discount stores.

In Russia, the hypermarket and large retail chains continue to grow their share of the trade. Traditional trade outlets typically provide us with higher margins from sales as compared to hypermarkets and large retail chains. There is a risk that the expansion of hypermarkets and large retail chains will continue to occur in the future, thus reducing the margins that we may derive from sales to wholesalers that primarily serve the traditional trade. This potential margin reduction, however, will be partially offset by lower distribution costs due to direct, bulk deliveries associated with sales to the modern trade.

In Poland and Russia, we face competition from various producers in the vodka production industry. We compete with other alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages for consumer purchases in general, as well as shelf space in retail stores, restaurant presence and distributor attention.

Our results are linked to economic conditions and shifts in consumer preferences, including a reduction in the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Our results of operations are affected by the overall economic trends in Poland and Russia, the level of consumer spending, the rate of taxes levied on alcoholic beverages and consumer confidence in future economic conditions. In periods of economic slowdown, consumer purchase decisions may be increasingly affected by price considerations, thus creating negative pressure on the sales volume and margins of many of our products. Reduced consumer confidence and spending may result in reduced demand for our products and limitations on our ability to increase prices and finance marketing and promotional activities. A major shift in consumer preferences or a large reduction in sales of alcoholic beverages generally could have a material adverse effect on us. The current negative economic conditions and outlook, including volatility in energy costs, severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, falling equity market values, weakened consumer confidence and increased unemployment rates, have created fears of a recession. A continued recessionary environment likely would make it more difficult to forecast operating results and to make decisions about future investments and would negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations, including by potentially reducing demand for our products or shifting demand toward lower margin products, increasing pressure on the prices of our products, decreasing the collectibility of accounts receivable and reducing access to the credit markets.

Loss of key management would threaten our ability to implement our business strategy.

The management of future growth will require our ability to retain William Carey, our Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. William Carey, who founded our company, has been a key person in our ability to implement our business plan and grow our business. If William Carey were to leave us, our business could be materially adversely affected.

Changes in the prices of supplies and raw materials could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Price increases for raw materials used for vodka production may take place in the future, and our inability to pass on increases to our customers could reduce our margins and profits and have a material adverse effect on our business. We recently constructed storage tanks In Poland that will store up to six months use of raw spirit. This gives us the flexibility to purchase raw spirit throughout the year at times when there are dips in raw spirit pricing. We expect these steps to help mitigate our exposure to price increases; however, we cannot assure you that shortages or increases in the prices of our supplies or raw materials will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We are exposed to exchange-rate and interest rate movements that could adversely affect our financial results and comparability of our results between financial periods.

Our functional currencies are the Polish zloty and the Hungarian forint and, in connection with our recently completed acquisitions in Russia, the Russian ruble. Our reporting currency, however, is the U.S. dollars, and the translation effects of fluctuations in exchange rates of our functional currencies into U.S. dollars may materially impact our financial condition and net income and may affect the comparability of our results between financial periods.

In addition, our Senior Secured Notes and our Convertible Senior Notes are denominated in euro and U.S. dollar, respectively, and have been on-lent to certain of our operating subsidiaries that have the Polish zloty as their functional currency. Movements in the exchange rate of the euro and U.S. dollar to Polish zloty could therefore increase the amount of cash, in Polish zloty, that must be generated in order to pay principal and interest on our Senior Secured Notes and Convertible Senior Notes.

The impact of translation of our Senior Secured Notes and convertible notes could have a materially adverse effect on our reported earnings. For example, a 1% change in the euro-Polish zloty exchange rate as compared to the exchange rate applicable on December 31, 2008, would result in an unrealized exchange pre-tax gain or loss of approximately $3.5 million per annum. A 1% change in the U.S. dollar-Polish zloty exchange rate as compared to the exchange rate applicable on December 31, 2008, would result in an unrealized exchange pre-tax gain or loss of approximately $3.0 million per annum.

Weather conditions may have a material adverse effect on our sales or on the price of grain used to produce spirits.

We operate in an industry where performance is affected by the weather. Changes in weather conditions may result in lower consumption of vodka and other alcoholic beverages than in comparable periods. In particular, unusually cold spells in winter or high temperatures in the summer can result in temporary shifts in customer preferences and decrease demand for the alcoholic beverages we produce and distribute. Similar weather conditions in the future may have a material adverse effect on our sales which could affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, inclement weather may affect the availability of grain used to produce raw spirit, which could result in a rise in raw spirit pricing that could negatively affect margins and sales.

We are subject to extensive government regulation; changes in or violations of law or regulations could materially adversely affect our business and profitability.

Our business of producing, importing and distributing alcoholic beverages is subject to regulation by national and local Polish governmental agencies and European Union authorities. In addition, in connection with our recently completed and planned acquisitions in Russia, our business there is subject to extensive regulation by Russian authorities. These regulations and laws address such matters as licensing and permit requirements, competition and anti-trust matters, trade and pricing practices, taxes, distribution methods and relationships, required labeling and packaging, advertising, sales promotion and relations with wholesalers and retailers. Also, new regulations or requirements or increases in excise taxes, customs duties, income taxes, or sales taxes could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, we are subject to numerous environmental and occupational, health and safety laws and regulations in Poland and Russia. We may also incur significant costs to maintain compliance with evolving environmental and occupational, health and safety requirements, to comply with more stringent enforcement of existing applicable requirements or to defend against challenges or investigations, even those without merit. Future legal or regulatory challenges to the industry in which we operate or to us or our business practices and arrangements could give rise to liability and fines, or cause us to change our practices or arrangements, which could have a material adverse effect on us, our revenues and our profitability.

 

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Governmental regulation and supervision as well as future changes in laws, regulations or government policy (or in the interpretation of existing laws or regulations) that affect us, our competitors or our industry generally strongly influence our viability and how we operate our business. Complying with existing regulations is burdensome, and future changes may increase our operational and administrative expenses and limit our revenues. For example, we are currently required to have permits to produce, to import products, maintain and operate our warehouses, and distribute our products to wholesalers. Many of these permits, such as our general permit for wholesale trade, must be renewed when they expire. Although we believe that our permits will be renewed upon their expiration, there is no guarantee that such will be the case. Revocation or non-renewal of permits that are material to our business could have a material adverse affect on our business. Our permits could also be revoked prior to their expiration date due to nonpayment of taxes or violation of health requirements. Our business would be materially and adversely affected if there were any adverse changes in relevant laws or regulations or in their interpretation or enforcement. Our ability to introduce new products and services may also be affected if we cannot predict how existing or future laws, regulations or policies would apply to such products or service.

We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights.

We own and license trademarks (for, among other things, our product names and packaging) and other intellectual property rights that are important to our business and competitive position, and we endeavor to protect them. However, we cannot assure you that the steps we have taken or will take will be sufficient to protect our intellectual property rights or to prevent others from seeking to invalidate our trademarks or block sales of our products as a violation of the trademarks and intellectual property rights of others. In addition, we cannot assure you that third parties will not infringe on or misappropriate our rights, imitate our products, or assert rights in, or ownership of, trademarks and other intellectual property rights of ours or in marks that are similar to ours or marks that we license and/or market. In some cases, there may be trademark owners who have prior rights to our marks or to similar marks. Moreover, Russia generally offers less intellectual property protection than in Western Europe or North America. We are currently involved in opposition and cancellation proceedings with respect to marks similar to some of our brands and other proceedings, both in the United States and elsewhere. If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights against infringement or misappropriation, or if others assert rights in or seek to invalidate our intellectual property rights, this could materially harm our future financial results and our ability to develop our business.

Our import contracts may be terminated.

As a leading importer of major international brands of alcoholic beverages in Poland and Hungary, we have been working with the same suppliers in those countries for many years and either have verbal understandings or written distribution agreements with them. In addition, we have recently acquired distribution contracts in Russia through our acquisition of Whitehall. Where a written agreement is in place, it is usually valid for between one and five years and is terminable by either party on three to six months’ notice. However, our ability to continue to distribute imported products on an exclusive basis depends on some factors which are out of our control, such as ongoing consolidation in the wine, beer and spirit industry worldwide, as a result of which producers decide from time to time to change their distribution channels, including in the markets in which we operate.

Although we believe we are currently in compliance with the terms and conditions of our import and distribution agreements, there is no assurance that all our import agreements will continue to be renewed on a regular basis, or that, if they are terminated, we will be able to replace them with alternative arrangements with other suppliers.

Our results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected if we undertake acquisitions of businesses that do not perform as we expect or that are difficult for us to integrate.

. We make public disclosure of pending and completed acquisitions when appropriate and required by applicable securities laws and regulations.

 

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Acquisitions involve numerous risks and uncertainties. If we complete one or more acquisitions, our results of operations and financial condition may be affected by a number of factors, including: the failure of the acquired businesses to achieve the results we have projected in either the near or long term; the assumption of unknown liabilities; the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed; the difficulties of imposing adequate financial and operating controls on the acquired companies and their management and the potential liabilities that might arise pending the imposition of adequate controls; the difficulties in integration of the operations, technologies, services and products of the acquired companies; and the failure to achieve the strategic objectives of these acquisitions.

Acquisitions in developing economies, such as Russia, involve unique risks in addition to those mentioned above, including those related to integration of operations across different cultures and languages, currency risks, and the particular economic, political, and regulatory risks associated with specific countries.

Future acquisitions or mergers may result in a need to issue additional equity securities, spend our cash, or incur debt, liabilities, or amortization expenses related to intangible assets, any of which could reduce our profitability.

Sustained periods of high inflation in Russia may materially adversely affect our business there.

Russia has experienced periods of high levels of inflation since the early 1990s. Despite the fact that inflation has remained relatively stable in Russia during the past few years, our profit margins from our Russian business could be adversely affected if we are unable to sufficiently increase our prices to offset any significant future increase in the inflation rate.

The developing legal system in Russia creates a number of uncertainties that could adversely affect our Russian business.

Russia is still developing the legal framework required to support a market economy, which creates uncertainty relating to our Russian business. Prior to our recent acquisitions in Russia, we did not have experience operating there, which could increase our vulnerability to the risks relating to these uncertainties. Risks related to the developing legal system in Russia include:

 

   

inconsistencies between and among the Constitution, federal and regional laws, presidential decrees and governmental, ministerial and local orders, decisions, resolutions and other acts;

 

   

conflicting local, regional and federal rules and regulations;

 

   

the lack of judicial and administrative guidance on interpreting legislation;

 

   

the relative inexperience of judges and courts in interpreting legislation;

 

   

the lack of an independent judiciary;

 

   

a high degree of discretion on the part of governmental authorities, which could result in arbitrary or selective actions against us, including suspension or termination of licenses we need to operate in Russia; and

 

   

poorly developed bankruptcy procedures that are subject to abuse.

The recent nature of much of Russian legislation, the lack of consensus about the scope, content and pace of economic and political reform and the rapid evolution of this legal system in ways that may not always coincide with market developments place the enforceability and underlying constitutionality of laws in doubt and result in ambiguities, inconsistencies and anomalies. Any of these factors could adversely affect our Russian business.

 

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An unpredictable tax system in Russia gives rise to significant uncertainties and risks that complicate our tax planning and decisions relating to our Russian business.

The tax system in Russia is unpredictable and gives rise to significant uncertainties, which complicate our tax planning and decisions relating to our Russian business. Tax laws in Russia have been in force for a relatively short period of time as compared to tax laws in more developed market economies and we have less experience operating under Russian tax regulations than those of other countries.

Russian companies are subject to a broad range of taxes imposed at the federal, regional and local levels, including but not limited to value added tax, excise duties, profit tax, payroll-related taxes, property taxes, taxes or other liabilities related to transfer pricing and other taxes. Russia’s federal and local tax laws and regulations are subject to frequent change, varying interpretations and inconsistent or unclear enforcement. It is not uncommon for differing opinions regarding legal interpretation to exist both between companies subject to such taxes and the ministries and organizations of the Russian government and between different branches of the Russian government such as the Federal Tax Service and its various local tax inspectorates, resulting in uncertainties and areas of conflict. Tax declarations are subject to review and investigation by a number of tax authorities, which are enabled by law to impose penalties and interest charges. The fact that a tax declaration has been audited by tax authorities does not bar that declaration, or any other tax declaration applicable to that year, from a further tax review by a superior tax authority during a three-year period. As previous audits do not exclude subsequent claims relating to the audited period, the statute of limitations is not entirely effective. In some instances, even though it may potentially be considered unconstitutional, Russian tax authorities have applied certain taxes retroactively. Within the past few years the Russian tax authorities appear to be taking a more aggressive position in their interpretation of the legislation and assessments, and it is possible that transactions and activities that have not been challenged in the past may be challenged. As a result, significant additional taxes, penalties and interest may be assessed. In addition, our Russian business is and will be subject to periodic tax inspections that may result in tax assessments and additional amounts owed by us for prior tax periods.

Uncertainty relating to Russian transfer pricing rules could lead tax authorities to impose significant additional tax liabilities as a result of transfer pricing adjustments or other similar claims, and could have a material adverse effect on our Russian business and our company.

Risks Relating to our Indebtedness

We require a significant amount of cash to make payments on our Senior Secured Notes and to service our other debt.

Our ability to finance our debt depends on our future operating performance and ability to generate sufficient cash. This depends, to some extent, on general economic, financial, competitive, market, legislative, regulatory and other factors, some of which are beyond our control, as well as the other factors discussed in these “Risk Factors.”

Historically, we met our debt service and other cash requirements with cash flows from operations and our existing revolving credit facilities. As a result of certain acquisitions and related financing transactions, however, our debt service requirements have increased significantly. We cannot assure you that our business will generate sufficient cash flows from operating activities, or that future debt and equity financing will be available to us in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay our debts when due, including our Senior Secured Notes, or to fund our other financing needs.

Our indebtedness under the Senior Secured Notes, Convertible Senior Notes and other credit facilities as of December 31, 2008 amounted to $930.3 million, and additionally $14.7 million of accrued interest. In addition, Russian Alcohol Group currently has approximately $286 million in outstanding indebtedness, which under the terms of our current indebtedness would have to be refinanced in the event we acquire control of Russian Alcohol Group.

 

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If our future cash flows from operations and other capital resources are insufficient to pay our obligations as they mature or to fund our liquidity needs, we may be forced to:

 

   

reduce or delay our business activities and capital expenditures;

 

   

sell assets;

 

   

obtain additional debt or equity capital; or

 

   

restructure or refinance all or a portion of our debt, including our Senior Secured Notes, on or before maturity.

The above factors all contain an inherent risk regarding our ability to execute them. Additionally, our Senior Secured Notes and covenants made in connection therewith may limit our ability to borrow additional funds or increase the cost of any such borrowing. Furthermore, recent significant changes in market liquidity conditions resulting in a tightening in the credit markets and a reduction in the availability of debt and equity capital could impact our access to funding and our related funding costs, which could materially and adversely affect our ability to obtain and manage liquidity, to obtain additional capital and to restructure or refinance any of our existing debt.

We are subject to restrictive debt covenants.

The indenture governing our Senior Secured Notes, and our other senior credit facilities, contain, and other financing arrangements we enter into in the future may contain, provisions which limit our ability and the ability of our subsidiaries to enter into certain transactions, including the ability to make certain payments, including dividends or other cash distributions; incur or guarantee additional indebtedness and issue preferred stock; make certain investments; prepay or redeem subordinated debt or equity; create certain liens or enter into sale and leaseback transactions; engage in certain transactions with affiliates; sell assets or consolidate or merge with or into other companies; issue or sell share capital of certain subsidiaries; and enter into other lines of business.

Risks related to our common stock

The price of our common stock historically has been volatile. This volatility may affect the price at which you could sell your common stock, and the sale of substantial amounts of our common stock could adversely affect the price of our common stock.

The sale price for our common stock has varied between a high of $77.48 and a low of $17.16 in the twelve month period ended December 31, 2008. This volatility may affect the price at which you could sell the common stock and the sale of substantial amounts of our common stock could adversely affect the price of our common stock. Our stock price is likely to continue to be volatile and subject to significant price and volume fluctuations in response to market and other factors, including the other factors discussed in “Risks related to our business” and in the documents we have incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement; variations in our quarterly operating results from our expectations or those of securities analysts or investors; downward revisions in securities analysts’ estimates; and announcement by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments.

In addition, the sale of substantial amounts of our common stock, or the perception that these sales may occur, could adversely impact its price. As of December 31, 2008, we had outstanding 47,098,837 shares of our common stock and options to purchase approximately 1,342,700 shares of our common stock (of which approximately 1,038,175 were exercisable as of that date). We also had outstanding approximately 68,568 restricted stock units as of December 31, 2008, 400 of which were exercisable. As a result of our acquisition of Botapol Holding B.V., which we completed on August 17, 2005, Takirra Investment Corporation N.V. as of December 31, 2008 owned a total of 2,537,128 shares of our common stock. Takirra Investment Corporation N.V. has the right to cause us to register resale of the shares of our common stock that it owns or to include its shares in future registration statements filed by us with the SEC. We have filed a registration statement relating

 

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to the shares with the SEC. Pursuant to that registration statement, Takirra Investment Corporation N.V. will be able to sell its shares to the public in the United States. In addition, as a result of our acquisition of 85% of the share capital of Copecresto Enterprises Limited, which we completed on March 13, 2008, White Horse Intervest Limited as of December 31, 2008 owned a total of 2,238,806 shares of our common stock. White Horse Intervest Limited has the right to cause us to register resale of the shares of our common stock that it owns or to include its shares in future registration statements filed by us with the SEC. Finally, as a result of our acquisition of 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests, in the Whitehall Group, which we completed on May 23, 2008, Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Limited, in its capacity as trustee of the First National Trust owns a total of 843,524 shares of our common stock and Mark Kaoufman owns a total of 2,100,000 shares of our common stock which we have agreed to register for resale. If any of the foregoing were to sell a large number of their shares in a short period of time, the market price of our common stock could decline. The sale or the availability for sale of a large number of shares of our common stock in the public market could cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Delaware law and provisions in our charter documents may impede or discourage a takeover, which could cause the market price of our shares to decline.

We are a Delaware corporation, and the anti-takeover provisions of Delaware law impose various impediments to the ability of a third party to acquire control of us, even if a change in control would be beneficial to our existing stockholders. In addition, our board of directors has the power, without stockholder approval, to designate the terms of one or more series of preferred stock and issue shares of preferred stock. The ability of our board of directors to create and issue a new series of preferred stock, our stockholders rights plan and certain provisions of Delaware law and our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could impede a merger, takeover or other business combination involving us or discourage a potential acquirer from making a tender offer for our common stock, which, under certain circumstances, could reduce the market price of our common stock. See “Description of capital stock.”

We do not intend to pay cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future.

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation of our business and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

Enforcing legal liability against us and our directors and officers might be difficult.

We are organized under the laws of the State of Delaware of the United States. Therefore, investors are able to effect service of process in the United States upon us and may be able to effect service of process upon our directors and executive officers. We are a holding company, however, and substantially all of our operating assets are located in Poland, Hungary and, in connection with our recently completed acquisitions, Russia. Further, most of our directors and executive officers, and those of most of our subsidiaries, are non-residents of the United States, and our assets and the assets of our directors and executive officers are located outside the United States. As a result, you may not be able to enforce against our assets (or those of certain of our directors or executive officers) judgments of United States courts predicated upon the civil liability provisions of United States laws, including federal securities laws of the United States. In addition, awards of punitive damages in actions brought in the United States or elsewhere may not be enforceable in Poland or Russia.

 

Item 2. Properties.

Our significant properties can be divided into the following categories:

Production and rectification facilities. Our production facilities comprise two plants with one located in Białystok, Poland for Polmos Białystok and the other one located in Oborniki Wielkopolskie, Poland for Bols. The Białystok facility is located on 78,665 square meters of land which is leased from the government on a perpetual usufruct basis. The production capacity of our plant in Bialystok is approximately 24 million liters of

 

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100% alcohol per year and currently, we use approximately 75% to 85% of its production capacity. In the Polmos Białystok distillery we produce Absolwent and its taste variations, Batory, Białowieska, Cytrynówka, Czekoladowa, Kompleet, Vodka, Liberty Blue, Lider, Ludowa, Nalewka Wisniowa, Nalewka Miodowa and Palace Vodka, Winiak Białostocki, Winiak Pałacowy, Wódka Imbirowa, Zubrówka. The plot on which the Białystok facility is located is unencumbered.

The Bols facility is located on 80,519 square meters of which 58,103 square meters are owned by us and 22,416 square meters are leased from the government on a perpetual usufruct basis. The production capacity of our plant in Oborniki Wielkopolskie is 34.2 million liters of 100% alcohol per year. Currently we use about 50% to 60% of the plant’s production capacity. In the Bols distillery we produce Bols Excellent, Bols Vodka and its taste variations, Soplica, Soplica Szlachetna Polska, Soplica Tradycyjna Polska, Soplica Wisniowa Polska, Soplica Staropolska, Boss, Slaska, Niagara and Royal Vodka. The plot on which the Bols facility is located in unencumbered.

Office, distribution, warehousing and retail facilities. We own five warehousing and distribution sites located in various regions of Poland as well as nine retail facilities located in various regions of Poland. In Russia we own the land and buildings in Balahikha, Moscow Region where the Parliament facilities are located.

Leased Facilities. Our primary corporate office is located in Warsaw, Poland, and we have a rented corporate office in Budapest Hungary. In addition we operate over 85 warehousing and distribution sites and 45 retail facilities located in various regions of Poland. In Russia we lease over 10 office, warehouse and retail locations primarily related to the Whitehall business. The lease terms expire at various dates and are generally renewable.

Research and Development, Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks

We do not have a separate research and development unit. Our activity in this field is generally related to improvements in packaging and extensions to our existing brand portfolio or revised production processes, leading to improved taste.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

From time to time we are involved in legal proceedings arising in the normal course of our business, including opposition and cancellation proceedings with respect to trademarks similar to some of our other brands, and other proceedings, both in the United States and elsewhere. We are not currently involved in or aware of any pending or threatened proceedings that we reasonably expect, either individually or in the aggregate, will result in a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition or results of operations.

 

Item 4. Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders.

No matters were submitted to a vote of security holders during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008.

 

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PART II

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters.

Market Information

The Company’s common stock has been traded on the NASDAQ National Market, and its successor, the NASDAQ Global Select Market, under the symbol “CEDC” since June 1999. Prior thereto it traded on the NASDAQ Small Cap Market since our initial public offering in July 1998. On September 22, 2008 the Company’s stock was added to the NASDAQ Q-50 Index. The following table sets forth the high and low bid prices for the common stock, as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, for each of the Company’s fiscal quarters in 2007 and 2008. These prices represent inter-dealer quotations, which do not include retail mark-ups, mark-downs or commissions and do not necessarily represent actual transactions.

 

     High    Low

2007

     

First Quarter

   $ 30.65    $ 24.71

Second Quarter

     36.90      28.59

Third Quarter

     50.95      34.07

Fourth Quarter

     61.08      42.10

2008

     

First Quarter

   $ 62.52    $ 46.50

Second Quarter

     75.47      56.32

Third Quarter

     77.48      28.95

Fourth Quarter

     46.52      17.16

On February 25, 2009, the last reported sales price of the Common Stock was $7.89 per share.

Holders

As of February 25, 2009, there were approximately 39,088 beneficial owners and 51 shareholders of record of common stock.

Dividends

CEDC has never declared or paid any dividends on its capital stock. CEDC currently intends to retain future earnings for use in the operation and expansion of its business. Future dividends, if any, will be subject to approval by CEDC’s board of directors and will depend upon, among other things, the results of the Company’s operations, capital requirements, surplus, general financial condition and contractual restrictions and such other factors as the board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, the indenture for the Company’s outstanding Senior Secured Notes may limit the payment of cash dividends on its common stock to amounts calculated in accordance with a formula based upon our net income and other factors.

 

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Equity Compensation Plans

The following table provides information with respect to our equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2008:

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

Plan Category

   Number of Securities to be
Issued Upon Exercise of
Outstanding Options,
Warrants and Rights
   Weighted-Average
Exercise Price of
Outstanding Options,
Warrants and Rights
   Number of Securities
Remaining Available for
Future Issuance Under
Equity Compensation Plans
(Excluding Securities
Reflected in Column (a))
     (a)    (b)    (c)

Equity Compensation Plans Approved by Security Holders

   1,418,806    $ 29.29    1,145,945

Equity Compensation Plans Not Approved by Security Holders

   —        —      —  

Total

   1,418,806    $ 29.29    1,145,945

 

Item 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table sets forth selected consolidated financial data for the periods indicated and should be read in conjunction with and is qualified by reference to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, the consolidated financial statements, the notes thereto and the other financial data contained in Items 7 and 8 of this report on Form 10-K.

 

Income Statement Data:    Year ended December 31,  
      2004     2005     2006     2007     2008  

Net sales

   $ 580,744     $ 749,415     $ 944,108     $ 1,189,822     $ 1,647,004  

Cost of goods sold

     506,413       627,368       745,721       941,060       1,224,899  
                                        

Gross profit

     74,331       122,047       198,387       248,762       422,105  

Sales, general and administrative expenses

     45,946       70,404       106,805       130,677       223,373  
                                        

Operating income

     28,385       51,643       91,582       118,085       198,732  

Non-operating income / (expense), net

          

Interest income / (expense), net

     (2,115 )     (15,828 )     (31,750 )     (35,829 )     (50,360 )

Other financial income / (expense), net

     (19 )     (7,678 )     17,212       13,594       (132,936 )

Other income / (expense), net

     193       (262 )     1,119       (1,770 )     410  
                                        

Income before income taxes

     26,444       27,875       78,163       94,080       15,846  

Income taxes

     (4,614 )     (5,346 )     (13,986 )     (15,910 )     (12,952 )
                                        

Minority interests

     —         2,261       8,727       1,068       10,483  
                                  

Equity in net earnings of affiliates

     —         —         —         —         (9,002 )
                

Net income

   $ 21,830     $ 20,268     $ 55,450     $ 77,102     ($ 16,591 )
                                        

Net income per common share, basic

   $ 0.89     $ 0.72     $ 1.55     $ 1.93     ($ 0.38 )
                                        

Net income per common share, diluted

   $ 0.87     $ 0.70     $ 1.53     $ 1.91     ($ 0.38 )
                                        

Average number of outstanding shares of common stock at year end

     24,462       28,344       35,799       39,871       44,088  

Balance Sheet Data:

          
      2004     2005     2006     2007     2008  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 10,491     $ 60,745     $ 159,362     $ 87,867     $ 107,601  

Working capital

     50,910       85,950       182,268       170,913       205,712  

Total assets

     291,704       1,084,472       1,326,033       1,782,168       2,483,686  

Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, less current portion

     4,013       369,039       394,564       469,958       822,947  

Stockholders’ equity

     120,316       374,942       520,973       815,436       945,849  

 

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Item 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATION

The following analysis should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this report.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 Regarding Forward-Looking Information.

This report contains forward-looking statements, which provide our current expectations or forecasts of future events. These forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms “believes,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “will” or “should” or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology, but the absence of these words does not necessarily mean that a statement is not forward-looking. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. They appear in a number of places throughout this report and include, without limitation:

 

   

information concerning possible or assumed future results of operations, trends in financial results and business plans, including those relating to earnings growth and revenue growth, liquidity, prospects, strategies and the industry in which the Company and its affiliates operate, as well as the integration of recent acquisition and the effect of such acquisitions on the Company;

 

   

statements about the level of our costs and operating expenses relative to the Company revenues, and about the expected composition of the Company’s revenues;

 

   

statements about integration of the Company’s acquisitions;

 

   

information about the impact of Polish regulations on the Company business;

 

   

statements about local and global credit markets, currency exchange rates and economic conditions;

 

   

other statements about the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions; and

 

   

other statements that are not historical facts.

By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. We caution you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, the development of the industry in which we operate, and the effects of acquisitions on us may differ materially from those anticipated in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this report. In addition, even if our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate, are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this report, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods.

We urge you to read and carefully consider the items of the other reports that we have filed with or furnished to the SEC for a more complete discussion of the factors and risks that could affect our future performance and the industry in which we operate, including the risk factors described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events described in this report may not occur as described, or at all.

You should not unduly rely on these forward-looking statements, because they reflect our judgment only as of the date of this report. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect circumstances or events after the date of this report, or to reflect on the occurrence of unanticipated events. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or to persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements referred to above and contained elsewhere in this report.

 

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The following discussion and analysis provides information which management believes is relevant to the reader’s assessment and understanding of the Company’s results of operations and financial condition and should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto found elsewhere in this report.

Overview

We believe that the Company’s 2008 fiscal year should be viewed in two distinct halves. In the first half of the year, the Company accomplished the goals set out for the year, which was expansion into the vodka and spirits sector in Russia. We initiated our entry into the Russian spirit market through our strategic acquisition of the Parliament Group in March 2008 and our acquisitions of ownership positions in the Whitehall Group in May 2008 and the Russian Alcohol Group in July 2008. These acquisitions have expanded our geographical reach into Russia, making us the leading producer of vodka in Russia as well as Poland.

We are now Central and Eastern Europe’s largest integrated spirit beverages business with our primary operations in Poland, Hungary and, as of 2008, Russia. In 2008, the companies in our group produced and sold approximately 30.1 million nine-liter cases of vodka, primarily in Poland, Russia and Hungary, making us the region’s largest vodka producer by value and volume.

In Poland, the business environment for us was positive in the first half of 2008 as spirit pricing continued to go down, our exclusive import brands were growing favorably and the overall alcohol market was expected to continue to grow. Our Bols brand grew by 12% over 2007 results and our Soplica brand grew by 14% over 2007 results as the overall Polish vodka market grew by approximately 6%. In Russia, we closed our first acquisition in March acquiring the number one selling sub-premium brand, Parliament. In May, we took a 75% economic interest in the leading importer of premium wine and spirits, Whitehall. And, in June, we acquired a 42% stake in the Russian Alcohol Group, which has the best selling vodka in Russia, Green Mark, and the second best selling sub-premium vodka brand, Zhuravli, among other brands.

The second half of fiscal year 2008 however saw significant changes in the global economic environment, which continue to this day as the world-wide financial crisis began to affect Central and Eastern Europe. During the last months of 2008 and continuing into 2009 there has been a significant depreciation of the Polish zloty and the Russian ruble against the U. S. dollar and the Euro which has had a material impact on our foreign currency translation. In addition, we recognized a material non cash foreign exchange translation loss primarily due to our liabilities under the Senior Secured Notes and the Senior Convertible Notes, denominated in Euro and U.S. Dollars, respectively.

Mitigating the effects of some of these broader negative economic trends, there have been other aspects of our business that have improved through the last half of 2008 and continue to improve thus far in 2009. We have seen spirit pricing continue to be favorable. In Russia, spirit pricing has dropped approximately 20% from December 2008 to January 2009, and in Poland, spirit pricing has continued to drop. Labor costs continue to come down as well as other key cost components including but not limited to petrol costs and materials for packaging.

We have taken certain actions to attempt to lessen any potential fallout from the world wide economic crisis, including re-evaluating our capital expenditure plans, by continuing to consolidate distribution branches in Poland and by starting to reduce headcount both in Poland and Russia. In addition, as discussed below, we were able to renegotiate $240 million of our short term debt with Polish banks which represents a majority of our short term debt. Overall, for the twelve months ending December 31, 2008, we were able to surpass our margin goals by achieving gross margins of over 25% and operating margins of over 12% for the full year, despite the challenges in the second half of the year.

Significant factors affecting our consolidated results of operations

Effect of Acquisitions of Production Subsidiaries

During 2008, we expanded our acquisition strategy outside of Poland and Hungary with our investments into the production and importation of alcoholic beverages in Russia by targeting leading two distilleries with the

 

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leading premium and mainstream brands in Russia, Parliament and The Russian Alcohol Group as well as the leading importer the Whitehall Group. The acquisition and integration of these businesses into our operations have had a significant effect on our results of operations.

The Parliament Acquisition

On March 11, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates entered into a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements with White Horse Intervest Limited, a British Virgin Islands Company, and certain of White Horse’s affiliates, relating to the Company’s acquisition from White Horse of 85% of the share capital of Copecresto Enterprises Limited, a Cypriot company,. In connection with this acquisition, the Company paid a consideration of approximately $180 million in cash and 2.2 million shares of common stock. On May 2, 2008 the Company delivered the remaining 250,000 shares of the share consideration. There is still $15 million of the cash consideration that is deferred pending the consummation of certain reorganization transactions expected to be completed over the next 3-9 months.

The Whitehall Acquisition

On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates entered into, and closed upon, a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements whereby the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests in the Whitehall Group. The Whitehall Group is a leading importer of premium spirits and wines in Russia. The aggregate consideration paid by the Company was $200 million, paid in cash at the closing. In addition, on October 21, 2008 the Company issued 843,524 shares of its common stock to the seller.

On February 24, 2009, the Company and the seller amended the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement governing the Whitehall acquisition to satisfy the Company’s obligations to the seller pursuant to a share price guarantee in the original Stock Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of this amendment, the Company paid to the seller $5,876,351 in cash, and issued to the seller 2,100,000 shares of its common stock, in settlement of a minimum share price guarantee by the Company. The Company is further obligated to make an additional cash payment of $2,000,000 on March 15, 2009. Deferred payments already due under the original Stock Purchase Agreement are to be paid with €8,050,411 due on June 15, 2009 and €8,303,630 due on September 15, 2009. In consideration for these payments the Company received an additional 375 Class B shares of Whitehall, which represents on increase in the Company’s economic stake from 75% to 80%. Additionally, if, during the 210 day period immediately following the effectiveness of the registration statement the Company is obligated to file to register the shares of Company common stock obtained by the seller in this transaction, the seller sells any of the Company common stock it acquired in the transaction for an average sales price per share, weighted by volume, that is less than $12.03, per share, the Company must pay to the seller the excess, if any, of $12.03 over the volume weighted average sales price per share of the Company’s common stock on the day the sale took place, multiplied by the total number of shares sold. Finally, the Company may be obligated to make an additional cash payment to the seller, ranging from €0 to €1,500,000, based upon whether and to what extent the price of a share of the Company’s common stock exceeds $12.03 during that same 210 day period. If the Company must make any such payment, it will receive in return up to an additional 75 Class B shares, which represents up to an additional 1% economic stake of Whitehall, based on the sized of the payment.

The Company has consolidated the Whitehall Group as a business combination as of May 23, 2008, on the basis that the Whitehall Group is a Variable Interest Entity and the Company has been assessed as being the primary beneficiary. Included within the Whitehall Group is a 50/50 joint venture with Möet Henessy. This joint venture is accounted for using the equity method and is recorded on the face of the balance sheet in investments with minority interest initially recorded at fair value on the face of the balance sheet. The current term of the joint venture is until June 2013 at which point the Whitehall Group will have the option to acquire the remaining shares of the entity.

 

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The Investment in the Russian Alcohol Group

On July 9, 2008, the Company completed its strategic investment in Russian Alcohol Group and (1) paid $181.5 million for approximately 47.5% of the common equity of a newly formed Cayman Islands company (“Cayco”) which indirectly acquired all of the outstanding equity of Russian Alcohol Group, and (2) purchased $103.5 million in subordinated exchangeable loan notes issued by a subsidiary of Cayco and exchangeable into equity of Cayco. Pursuant to the shareholders’ agreement entered into in connection with this strategic investment, the Company has the right to purchase, and Cayco has the right to require the Company to purchase, all (but not less than all) of the outstanding capital stock of a majority-owned subsidiary of Cayco held by Cayco, which in either case would give the Company indirect control over Russian Alcohol Group. The Company has accounted for its investment in the Russian Alcohol Group utilizing the equity method, thus impact only equity earnings from affiliates on the profit and loss statement.

We are engaged in discussions with Lion Capital to restructure the current agreement regarding the buyout of the remaining 58% stake in the Russian Alcohol Group, the largest spirit producer in Russia. Although the discussions are not final, and remain subject to further legal, accounting and tax analysis, as well as board approval, we are in general agreement with Lion Capital on the main commercial objectives. We expect an agreement would include a fixed price for the remaining 58% interest in the Russian Alcohol Group that we do not own (including the conversion of our $103.5 million plus accrued interest of loan notes) at a valuation that is more reflective of current market conditions and the positive sales performance of the business. Our payments would be spread out over 5 years ending in the year 2013, with smaller payments for 2009 and 2013 and more equal payments from years 2010 to 2012, and we would agree to certain security arrangements to Lion. We would not take control over the Russian Alcohol Group until 2011, though we would receive significantly enhanced minority rights. We would expect to finance the transaction over the 5 years through a combination of cash, debt and equity. We cannot provide any assurances as to whether, or on what terms, we may reach an agreement to restructure our arrangements in respect of the Russian Alcohol Group.

During 2008 and continuing this year, we have been active in integrating the production companies into our group. The acquisition and integration of these businesses into our operations have had a significant effect on our results of operations. As discussed below, these acquisitions have impacted our net sales, cost of goods sold, operating profit and equity earnings from affiliates. In addition, the issuance of our $310 million Senior Convertible Notes related to these acquisitions has increased our financing costs.

Effect of Exchange Rate and Interest Rate Fluctuations

Substantially all of the Company’s operating cash flows and assets are denominated in Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble and Hungarian Forint. This means that the Company is exposed to translation movements both on its balance sheet and income statement. The impact on working capital items is demonstrated on the cash flow statement as the movement in exchange on cash and cash equivalents. The impact on the income statement is by the movement of the average exchange rate used to restate the income statement from Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble and Hungarian Forint to U.S. Dollars. The amounts shown as exchange rate gains or losses on the face of the income statement relate only to realized gains or losses on transactions that are not denominated in Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble or Hungarian Forint.

Because the Company’s reporting currency is the U.S. Dollar, the translation effects of fluctuations in the exchange rate have impacted the Company’s financial condition and results of operations and have affected the comparability of our results between financial periods. For example, the average Zloty/Dollar exchange rate used to create our income statement appreciated by approximately 13%. The actual year end Zloty/Dollar exchange rate used to create our balance sheet depreciated by approximately 22%.

However, as discussed above, recently the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble have depreciated sharply against the U.S. Dollar. From September 2008 to February 2009, the Polish Zloty depreciated by approximately 50%

 

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against the U.S. Dollar, and the Russian Ruble depreciated by approximately 45% against the U.S. Dollar. Should this trend continue, our results of operations may be negatively impacted due to a reduction in revenue in U.S. Dollar terms from the currency translation effects of that depreciation. This may be partially offset by a similar decrease in costs in U.S. Dollar terms. Conversely if the trend reverses our results of operations may be positively impacted due to an increase in revenue in U.S. Dollar terms from the currency translation effects of that appreciation

As a result of the issuance of the Company’s €325 million Senior Secured Notes due 2012 of which €245 million in principal amount is currently outstanding, we are exposed to foreign exchange movements in relation to the Euro. Movements in the euro-Polish zloty exchange rate will require us to revalue our liability on the Senior Secured Notes accordingly, the impact of which will be reflected in the results of the Company’s operations. Every one percent change in the euro-Polish zloty exchange rate as compared to the exchange rate applicable on December 31, 2008, would result in an unrealized exchange pre-tax gain or loss of approximately $3.5 million per annum. In order to manage the cash flow impact of foreign exchange changes, the Company has entered into certain hedge agreements. As of December 31, 2008, the Company had outstanding a hedge contract for a seven year interest rate swap agreement. The swap agreement exchanges a fixed Euro based coupon of 8%, with a variable Euro based coupon (IRS) based upon the 6 month Euribor rate plus a margin.

Similarly, we are exposed to foreign exchange movements in respect of our $310 million Senior Convertible Notes, the proceeds of which have been on-lent to subsidiaries that have the Polish zloty as the functional currency. Movements in the USD-Polish zloty exchange rate will require us to revalue our liability on the Senior Convertible Notes accordingly, the impact of which will be reflected in the results of the Company’s operations. Every one percent movement in the USD-Polish zloty exchange rate will have an approximate $3.0 million change in the valuation of the liability with the offsetting pre-tax gain or losses recorded in the profit and loss of the Company.

The effect of having debt denominated in currencies other than the Company’s functional currencies (primarily the Company’s Senior Secured Notes and Senior Convertible Notes) is to increase or decrease the value of the Company’s liabilities on that debt in terms of the Company’s functional currencies when those functional currencies depreciate or appreciate in value respectively. As the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble have fallen in value in recent months, the conversion of these U.S. Dollars or Euro liabilities in the subsidiaries of CEDC that have the Polish Zloty or Russian Ruble as their functional currency will require an increased valuation of that liability in the functional currency. This revaluation impacts the Company’s results of operations through the recognition of unrealized non cash foreign exchange rate gains or losses in our results of operations. In the case of the Senior Secured Notes and Senior Convertible Notes the full principal amount is due in 2012 and 2013 respectively; therefore, final local currency obligations will only be recognized then as a realized gain or loss.

 

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Twelve months ended December 31, 2008 compared to twelve months ended December 31, 2007

A summary of the Company’s operating performance (expressed in thousands except per share amounts) is presented below.

 

     Twelve months ended  
     December 31,
2008
    December 31,
2007
 

Sales

   $ 2,136,569     $ 1,483,344  

Excise taxes

     (489,566 )     (293,522 )

Net Sales

     1,647,004       1,189,822  

Cost of goods sold

     1,224,899       941,060  
                

Gross Profit

     422,105       248,762  
                

Operating expenses

     223,373       130,677  
                

Operating Income

     198,732       118,085  
                

Non operating income / (expense), net

    

Interest (expense), net

     (50,360 )     (35,829 )

Other financial income, net

     (132,936 )     13,594  

Other non operating income / (expense), net

     410       (1,770 )
                

Income before taxes

     15,846       94,080  
                

Income tax expense

     12,952       15,910  

Minority interests

     10,483       1,068  

Equity in net earnings of affiliates

     (9,002 )     0  
                

Net income

   ($ 16,591 )   $ 77,102  
                

Net income per share of common stock, basic

   ($ 0.38 )   $ 1.93  
                

Net income per share of common stock, diluted

   ($ 0.38 )   $ 1.91  
                

Net Sales

Net sales represents total sales net of all customer rebates, excise tax on production and value added tax. Total net sales increased by approximately 38.4%, or $457.2 million, from $1,189.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to $1,647.0 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. This increase in sales is due to the following factors:

 

Net Sales for twelve months ended December 31, 2007

   $ 1,189,822  

Increase from acquisitions

     346,826  

Existing business sales growth

     43,321  

Excise tax reduction

     (97,089 )

Impact of foreign exchange rates

     164,124  
        

Net sales for twelve months ended December 31, 2008

   $ 1,647,004  

Factors impacting our existing business sales for the twelve months ending December 31, 2008 include the growth of our key vodka brands, with Bols Vodka, our flagship premium vodka, growing by 12% and Soplica by 14% in volume terms as compared to the twelve months ending December 31, 2007. Also impacting our sales growth has been our focus on reducing lower margin SKU’s, primarily beer, and reducing as well the related sales and distribution costs for these products. We plan to continue the streamlining process going into 2009.

As of January 2008, sales of products which we produce at Polmos Bialystok and Bols to certain key accounts were moved from our distribution companies to the producer, Polmos Bialystok and Bols in order to reduce distribution costs. When a sale is reported directly from a producer, excise tax is eliminated from net sales and when a sale is made from a distribution company the sales are recorded gross with excise tax. Therefore the

 

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movement of the sales contracts from a distributor to the producer reduces the amount of net sales reported through the elimination of excise tax and also increases gross profit as a percent of sales. The impact of this sales reduction for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 was $97.1 million.

Based upon average exchange rates for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 and 2007, the Polish Zloty appreciated by approximately 13%. This resulted in an increase of $164.1 million of sales in U.S. Dollar terms. However, as discussed above, the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble recently have depreciated sharply against the U.S. Dollar. As the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble depreciate, sales will decrease in U.S. Dollar terms.

As a result of our recent acquisitions in Russia, we have moved to a segmental approach to our business split by our primary geographic locations of operations, Poland, Russia and Hungary. Included in the sales growth from acquisitions of $346.8 million was $297.9 million of sales related to the newly acquired Russian businesses of Parliament and Whitehall, which is reflected in our Russian Segment in the below table.

 

     Segment Net Revenues
Twelve months ended
December 31,
     2008    2007

Segment

     

Poland

   $ 1,305,629    $ 1,152,601

Russia

   $ 297,892      —  

Hungary

   $ 43,483    $ 37,221
             

Total Net Sales

   $ 1,647,004    $ 1,189,822

Gross Profit

Total gross profit increased by approximately $173.3 million, to $422.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, from $248.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007, reflecting sales growth for the factors noted above in the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. Gross margin increased from 20.9% of net sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to 25.6% of net sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. Factors impacting our margins include improved sales mix, lower spirit costs, the impact of excise tax as described above as well as the consolidation of Parliament and Whitehall from the first quarter and second quarter of 2008 respectively. Parliament and Whitehall which, as producer and importer, operate on a higher gross profit margin than the Polish business, which is more heavily impacted by lower margin distribution operations. Margins were further improved from lower spirit pricing for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 as well as the growth of the exclusive import brands.

Operating Expenses

Operating expenses consist of selling, general and administrative, or “S,G&A” expenses, advertising expenses, non-production depreciation and amortization, and provision for bad debt. Total operating expenses increased by approximately 70.9%, or $92.7 million, from $130.7 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to $223.4 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. Approximately $31.4 million of this increase resulted from the effects of the acquisition of Parliament in March 2008, approximately $24.9 million of this increase resulted from the effects of the acquisition of the Whitehall Group, approximately $5.5 million of this increase resulted from the effects of the acquisition of PHS completed in September 2007 and the remainder of the increase resulted primarily from the growth of the business and the impact of foreign exchange expenses as detailed below.

 

Operating expenses for twelve months ended December 31, 2007

   $ 130,677

Increase from acquisitions

     61,797

Increase from existing business growth

     10,322

Impact of foreign exchange rates

     20,577
      

Operating expenses for twelve months ended December 31, 2008

   $ 223,373

 

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The table below sets forth the items of operating expenses.

 

     Twelve Months Ended
December 31,
     2008    2007
     ($ in thousands)

S,G&A

   $ 168,584    $ 106,401

Marketing.

     43,954      16,937

Depreciation and amortization

     10,835      7,339
             

Total operating expense

   $ 223,373    $ 130,677

S,G&A increased by approximately 58.5%, or $62.2 million, from $106.4 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to $168.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. Approximately $47.1 million of this increase resulted primarily from the effects of the acquisitions discussed above and the remainder of the increase resulted primarily from the growth of the business and the appreciation of the Polish Zloty against the U.S. Dollar. However, as discussed above, the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble recently have depreciated sharply against the U.S. Dollar. As the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble depreciate, S,G&A will decrease in U.S. Dollar terms. As a percent of sales, S,G&A has increased from 8.9% of net sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to 10.2% of net sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008.

Depreciation and amortization increased by approximately 47.9%, or $ 3.5 million, from $7.3 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to $10.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. This increase resulted primarily from our existing business growth and the acquisitions of Parliament and Whitehall.

Operating Income

Total operating income increased by approximately 68.2%, or $80.6 million, from $118.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to $198.7 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. Operating income as a percent of sales increased from 9.9% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to 12.1% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. This increase resulted primarily from the factors described under “Net Sales” above. The table below summarizes the segmental split of operating profit.

 

     Operating Profit
Twelve months ended
December 31,
 
     2008     2007  

Segment

    

Poland

   $ 124,920     $ 116,862  

Russia

     73,374       —    

Hungary

     7,641       7,491  

Corporate Overhead

    

General corporate overhead

     (3,353 )     (4,398 )

Option Expense

     (3,850 )     (1,870 )
                

Total Operating Profit

   $ 198,732     $ 118,085  

Income Tax

Our effective tax rate for the twelve months ending December 31, 2008 was 81.7%, which was driven by a combination of the blended statutory tax rates in the tax jurisdictions in which we operate, as well as a true up of our deferred tax asset. The Company has taken an additional non-cash provisions for tax loss carry forwards in the Carey Agri subsidiary. Due to the level of foreign exchange losses incurred in 2008 as described above, management has determined that a portion of prior period tax losses will not be utilized in the future. As of December 31, 2008, the Company has provided for approximately $7 million, or 50%, of the available tax loss carry forwards in its Carey Agri subsidiary. Effective January 1, 2009, the statutory tax rate in Russia has been reduced from 24% to 20%.

 

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Minority Interests and Equity in Net Earnings

Minority interest for the twelve months ending December 31, 2008 relates mainly to minority stakes of 25% in Whitehall Group and 15% in Parliament.

Equity in net earnings for the twelve months ending December 31, 2008 include CEDC’s proportional share of net income from its investments accounted for under the equity method. This includes $8.5 million of income from the investment in the MHWH J.V. and $17.5 million of losses from the investment in the Russian Alcohol Group. Included in the results of the Russian Alcohol Group were non cash foreign exchange losses related to the revaluation of debt instruments denominated in U.S. Dollars.

Non Operating Income and Expenses

Total interest expense increased by approximately 40.8%, or $14.6 million, from $35.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 to $50.4 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008. This increase resulted from a combination of additional borrowings to finance the purchase of Russian Alcohol Group shares completed in July 2008, the issuance of our Convertible Senior Notes to finance the Parliament acquisition and the Whitehall acquisition and increased interest rates in 2008 as compared to 2007.

The Company recognized $131.0 million of unrealized foreign exchange rate loss in the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, primarily related to the impact of movements in exchange rates on our Senior Secured and Senior Convertible Notes, as these borrowings have been lent down to entities that have the Polish Zloty as the functional currency, as compared to $23.9 million of gains for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007.

Twelve months ended December 31, 2007 compared to twelve months ended December 31, 2006

A summary of the Company’s operating performance (expressed in thousands except per share amounts) is presented below.

 

     Twelve months ended  
     December 31,
2007
    December 31,
2006
 

Sales

   $ 1,483,344     $ 1,193,248  

Excise taxes

     (293,522 )     (249,140 )

Net Sales

     1,189,822       944,108  

Cost of goods sold

     941,060       745,721  
                

Gross Profit

     248,762       198,387  
                

Operating expenses

     130,677       106,805  
                

Operating Income

     118,085       91,582  
                

Non operating income / (expense), net

    

Interest (expense), net

     (35,829 )     (31,750 )

Other financial income, net

     13,594       17,212  

Other non operating income / (expense), net

     (1,770 )     1,119  
                

Income before taxes

     94,080       78,163  
                

Income tax expense

     15,910       13,986  

Minority interests

     1,068       8,727  
                

Net income

   $ 77,102     $ 55,450  
                

Net income per share of common stock, basic

   $ 1.93     $ 1.55  
                

Net income per share of common stock, diluted

   $ 1.91     $ 1.53  
                

 

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Net Sales

Total net sales increased by approximately 26.0%, or $245.7 million, from $944.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 to $1,189.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. This increase in sales is due to the following factors:

 

Net Sales for twelve months ended December 31, 2006

   $ 944,108

Increase from acquisitions

     53,910

Existing business sales growth

     69,756

Impact of foreign exchange rates

     122,048
      

Net sales for twelve months ended December 31, 2007

   $ 1,189,822

Factors impacting our existing business sales for the twelve months ending December 31, 2007 include the growth of our key vodka brands, with Bols Vodka, our flagship premium vodka, growing by 19% in volume terms and Soplica by 22% in volume terms as compared to the twelve months ending December 31, 2006. In addition to the growth of our own brands, our sales of imports and other third party brands increased due in part to new contracts, including the distribution contract with Orlen, the largest gas station chain in Poland, as well as market share gains taken from other distributors in Poland. Sales of our exclusive import brands grew by 46% in value terms for the twelve months ending December 31, 2007 as compared to the same period in 2006.

Based upon average exchange rates for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, the Polish Zloty appreciated by approximately 10%. This resulted in an increase of $122.0 million of sales in U.S. Dollars.

Gross Profit

Total gross profit increased by approximately 25.4%, or $50.4 million, to $248.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007, from $198.4 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006, reflecting sales growth for the factors noted above in the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. Gross margin remained constant at 21% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 and 2007. Factors impacting our margins include the consolidation of PHS from the third quarter of 2007, which operates primarily as a wholesaler with lower margins, as well as higher growth in our distribution business. The impact of both of these items has offset higher margin growth from increased sales of our own brands.

Operating Expenses

Total operating expenses increased by approximately 22.4%, or $23.9 million, from $106.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 to $130.7 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. Approximately $3.4 million of this increase resulted primarily from the effects of the acquisition of Bols Hungary in August 2006, $3.0 million resulted from the effects of the acquisition of PHS in July 2007 and the remainder of the increase resulted primarily from the growth of the business and the impact of foreign exchange expenses, as detailed below.

 

Operating expenses for twelve months ended December 31, 2006

   $ 106,805

Increase from acquisitions

     6,599

Increase from existing business growth

     3,684

Impact of foreign exchange rates

     13,589
      

Operating expenses for twelve months ended December 31, 2007

   $ 130,677

 

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The table below sets forth the items of operating expenses.

 

     Twelve Months Ended
December 31,
     2007    2006
     ($ in thousands)

S,G&A

   $ 106,401    $ 86,421

Marketing

     16,937      14,078

Depreciation and amortization

     7,339      6,306
             

Total operating expense

   $ 130,677    $ 106,805

S,G&A increased by approximately 23.1%, or $20.0 million, from $86.4 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 to $106.4 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. Approximately $3.1 million of this increase resulted primarily from the effects of the Bols Hungary acquisition in August 2006, $2.9 million resulted from the effects of the PHS acquisition in July 2007 and the remainder of the increase resulted primarily from the growth of the business and the appreciation of the Polish Zloty against the U.S. Dollar. As a percent of sales, S,G&A has decreased from 9.2% of net sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 to 8.9% of net sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007, primarily due to improved costs management.

Depreciation and amortization increased by approximately 15.9%, or $1.0 million, from $6.3 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 to $7.3 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. This increase resulted primarily from our existing business growth.

Operating Income

Total operating income increased by approximately 28.9%, or $26.5 million, from $91.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 to $118.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. This increase resulted primarily from the factors described under “Net Sales” above. Operating margin increased from 9.7% of net sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 to 9.9% of net sales for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. The increase in operating margin is due primarily to improved costs management.

Non Operating Income and Expenses

Total interest expense increased by approximately 12.6%, or $4.0 million, from $31.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 to $35.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. This increase resulted from a combination of additional borrowings for the purchase of Polmos Bialystok shares completed in June 2007, increased interest rates in 2007 as compared to 2006, and a strong Euro as compared to the U.S. dollar.

In order to reduce the Company’s overall cost of borrowings, in 2007 the Company completed a redemption of a portion of its Senior Secured Notes. In connection with this redemption, the Company incurred one-off early debt retirement costs of approximately $6.9 million relating to the 8% premium for early debt redemption and $4.9 million of written off financing costs and hedges associated with the retired debt. For detailed information regarding these costs please refer to Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements. In addition, the Company recognized $23.9 million of foreign exchange rate gains related to the impact of movements in exchange rates on our Senior Secured Notes.

Included in other financial income were foreign exchange gains from the revaluation of our Senior Secured Notes of $23.9 million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2007, as discussed above, and $3.3 million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2006. These gains are a result of the revaluation of our Euro Senior Secured Notes to Polish Zloties.

 

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Income Tax

In August 2007, the Company received confirmation from the Polish tax office regarding a change in tax treatment for unrealized gains. As such the Company recognized a one time increase in a deferred tax asset during the period. Partially offsetting this was an increase in the provision for unutilized tax loss carry forwards in Poland, which resulted in a reduction of a deferred tax asset. The net difference was fully recognized in the current year resulting in an effective tax rate of 16.9% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 as compared to a historic rate of 18%-19%.

Statement of Liquidity and Capital Resources

During the periods under review, the Company’s primary sources of liquidity were cash flows generated from operations, credit facilities, the equity offerings, the Convertible Senior Notes offering and proceeds from options exercised. The Company’s primary uses of cash were to fund its working capital requirements, service indebtedness, finance capital expenditures and fund acquisitions. The following table sets forth selected information concerning the Company’s consolidated cash flow during the periods indicated.

 

     Twelve months
ended
December 31, 2008
    Twelve months
ended
December 31, 2007
    Twelve months
ended
December 31, 2006
 
     ($ in thousands)        

Cash flow from operating activities

   72,196     23,084     71,691  

Cash flow used in investing activities

   (667,928 )   (159,122 )   (41,922 )

Cash flow from financing activities

   646,210     56,923     60,786  

Fiscal year 2008 cash flow

Net cash flow from operating activities

Net cash flow from operating activities represents net cash from operations and interest. Net cash provided by operating activities for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 was $72.2 million as compared to $23.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. The primary drivers for the change were overall growth in the business and improved working capital management. Working capital movements utilized $64.0 million of cash outflows for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 as compared to $72.1 million of cash outflows for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. Also included in working capital movements was a significant utilization of cash flow from the Parliament entities acquired in Russia which were newly formed legal entities with no receivables, inventory and accounts payable balances as of acquisition date. Therefore approximately $27 million was funded into the business during the 12 months ending December 31, 2008 in order to build up a normalized working capital base. Adding back the funding provided to the Parliament Group of $27 million, our adjusted cash flow from operations would have been $99.2 million. Additionally the company acquired 75% of the economic interest in the Whitehall Group in May 2008. Furthermore the first quarter of the year traditionally is the highest cash flow generation period and the last quarter traditionally is the highest cash utilization period. Therefore, in 2008 the Company experienced the higher cash utilization in the fourth quarter in connection with its Russian acquisitions, but not the higher cash generation in the first quarter.

Net cash flow used in investing activities

Net cash flows used in investing activities represent net cash used to acquire subsidiaries and fixed assets as well as proceeds from sales of fixed assets. Net cash used in investing activities for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 was $667.9 million as compared to $159.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. The primary cash outflows from investing activities for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 were the cash consideration and expenses related to the Parliament, Whitehall and Russian Alcohol Group acquisitions and the acquisition of $103.5 million in subordinated exchangeable notes in connection with the investment in Russian Alcohol Group.

 

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Net cash flow from financing activities

Net cash flow from financing activities represents cash used for servicing indebtedness, borrowings under credit facilities and cash inflows from private placements and exercise of options. Net cash provided by financing activities was $646.2 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 as compared to $56.9 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007. The primary source of cash from financing activities was the Company’s offering of $310 million of Convertible Secured Notes to fund the Parliament and Whitehall acquisition, which resulted in net proceeds of $304.4 million, and the proceeds from the common equity offering of $233.8 million, which were used to fund the investment in the Russian Alcohol Group, completed in July 2008.

Fiscal year 2007 cash flow

Net cash flow from operating activities

Net cash flow from operating activities represents net cash from operations, servicing of finance and taxation. Net cash provided by operating activities for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 was $23.1 million as compared to $71.7 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006. The primary drivers impacting the movements in working capital were related to the timing of payments for excise tax, as discussed below, as well as the overall growth of our business. Included in the working capital movements is an increase in other accrued liabilities and payables of $16.3 million in 2007 as compared to a $14.6 million decrease in 2006 reflecting the impact of timing of excise payments. Due to the timing of production, a greater amount of excise tax was paid in December in 2007 as compared to December 2006 which resulted in a $31 million swing in the other accrued liabilities and payables line. In order to drive sales, more products were released into the market in November 2007 requiring excise tax payments in December 2007 as compared to the prior year sales where a greater portion of excise tax was paid in January 2007. Other working capital items grew in line with business growth in 2007. However in 2006 the Company benefited from a one time cash inflow when the trade terms with wholesalers were changed, requiring either cash on delivery payments or a bank guarantee at the end of 2005. Thus, cash outflows from accounts receivables were $7.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 as compared to $38.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007.

Net cash flow used in investing activities

Net cash flows used in investing activities represents net cash used to acquire subsidiaries and fixed assets as well as proceeds from sales of fixed assets. Net cash used in investing activities for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 was $159.1 million as compared to $41.9 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006. The primary expenditures in 2007 were the additional purchase of shares in Polmos Bialystok for $132.8 million, and investment in the new rectification facilities for $16 million. Included in cash flows from investing activities are net cash inflows of $5.0 million from the final purchase price adjustment from our Botalpol acquisition completed in 2005.

Net cash flow from financing activities

Net cash flow from financing activities represents cash used for servicing indebtedness, borrowings under credit facilities and cash inflows from private placements and exercise of options. Net cash provided by financing activities was $56.9 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 as compared to $60.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006. In January and March of 2007, the Company completed redemption of 20% of its outstanding Senior Secured Notes for a total of €65.0 million which was financed by equity offerings completed in December 2006 and February 2007. In order to finance the acquisition of the additional share of Polmos Bialystok as noted above, the Company drew down $123 million of funds from a new credit facility during 2007.

 

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The Company’s Future Liquidity and Capital Resources

Financing Arrangements

Bank Facilities

As of December 31, 2008, $13.0 million remained available under the Company’s overdraft facilities. These overdraft facilities are renewed on an annual basis. As of December 31, 2008, the Company had utilized approximately $81.1 million of a multipurpose credit line agreement in connection with the 2007 tender offer in Poland to purchase the remaining outstanding shares of Polmos Bialystok S.A. The Company’s obligations under the credit line agreement are guaranteed through promissory notes by certain subsidiaries of the Company. The indebtedness under the credit line agreement matures on March 31, 2009, however a new credit agreement, with substantially the same terms and conditions of the existing credit facility, was signed on February 24, 2009 extending the facility to February 24, 2011. The Company also has received a firm bank commitment to roll over the short term working capital facility of approximately $32.4 million due March 31, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

On April 24, 2008, the Company signed a credit agreement with Bank Zachodni WBK SA in Poland to provide up to $50 million of financing to be used to finance a portion of the Parliament and Whitehall acquisition, as well as general working capital needs of the Company. The agreement provides for a $30 million five year amortizing term facility and a one year $20 million short term facility with annual renewal.

On July 2, 2008, the Company entered into a Facility Agreement with Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A., which provided for a term loan facility of $40 million. The term loan matures on July 4, 2011 and is guaranteed by CEDC, Carey Agri and certain other subsidiaries of the Company and is secured by all of the shares of capital stock of Carey Agri and subsequently will be further secured by shares of capital stock in certain other subsidiaries of CEDC.

Senior Secured Notes

In connection with the Bols and Polmos Bialystok acquisitions, on July 25, 2005 the Company completed the issuance of € 325 million 8% Senior Secured Notes due 2012. Interest is due semi-annually on the 25th of January and July, and the Senior Secured Notes are guaranteed on a senior basis by certain of the Company’s subsidiaries. The Indenture governing our Senior Secured Notes contains certain restrictive covenants, including covenants limiting the Company’s ability to: make certain payments, including dividends or other distributions, with respect to the share capital of the parent or its subsidiaries; incur or guarantee additional indebtedness or issue preferred stock; make certain investments; prepay or redeem subordinated debt or equity; create certain liens or enter into sale and leaseback transactions; engage in certain transactions with affiliates; sell assets or consolidate or merge with or into other companies; issue or sell share capital of certain subsidiaries; and enter into other lines of business.

During the twelve months ending December 31, 2008, the Company purchased on the open market and retired € 14.6 million of outstanding Senior Secured Notes.

As of December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2007, the Company had accrued interest of $12.0 million and $15.8 million respectively related to the Senior Secured Notes, with the next coupon due for payment on January 25, 2009. Total obligations under the Senior Secured Notes are shown net of deferred finance costs, amortized over the life of the borrowings using the effective interest rate method and fair value adjustments from the application of hedge accounting.

Senior Convertible Notes

On March 7, 2008, the Company completed the issuance of $310 million aggregate principal amount of 3% Convertible Senior Notes due 2013. Interest is due semi-annually on the 15th of March and September, beginning on September 15, 2008. The Convertible Senior Notes are convertible in certain circumstances into cash and, if applicable, shares of our common stock, based on an initial conversion rate of 14.7113 shares per

 

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$1,000 principle amount, subject to certain adjustments. Upon conversion of the notes, the Company will deliver cash up to the aggregate principle amount of the notes to be converted and, at the election of the Company, cash and/or shares of common stock in respect to the remainder, if any, of the conversion obligation. The proceeds from the Convertible Notes were used to fund the cash portions of the acquisition of Copecresto Enterprises Limited and Whitehall. As of December 31, 2008 the Company had accrued interest included in other accrued liabilities of $2.7 million related to the Convertible Senior Notes, with the next coupon due for payment on March 15, 2009. Total obligations under the Convertible Senior Notes are shown net of deferred finance costs, amortized over the life of the borrowings using the effective interest rate method.

Equity Offerings

On March 11, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates entered into a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements with White Horse Intervest Limited, a British Virgin Islands Company, and certain of White Horse’s affiliates, relating to the Company’s acquisition from White Horse of 85% of the share capital of Copecresto Enterprises Limited, a Cypriot company, owner of the Parliament group. In connection with this acquisition, the Company paid a consideration of approximately $180 million in cash and 2.2 million shares of common stock. According to the agreement the shares are to remain locked up and can not be sold for a period of one year from closing, subject to certain limited exceptions.

On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates entered into, and closed upon, a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements whereby the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests in the Whitehall Group. The Whitehall Group is a leading importer of premium spirits and wines in Russia. The aggregate consideration paid by the Company was $200 million, paid in cash at the closing. In addition, on October 21, 2008 the Company issued to the Seller 843,524 shares of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

On February 24, 2009, the Company and the seller amended the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement governing the Whitehall acquisition to satisfy the Company’s obligations to the seller pursuant to a share price guarantee in the original Stock Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of this amendment, the Company paid to the seller $5,876,351 in cash, and issued to the seller 2,100,000 shares of its common stock, in settlement of a minimum share price guarantee by the Company. The Company is further obligated to make an additional cash payment of $2,000,000 on March 15, 2009. Deferred payments already due under the original Stock Purchase Agreement are to be paid with €8,050,411 due on June 15, 2009 and €8,303,630 due on September 15, 2009. In consideration for these payments, the Company received an additional 375 Class B shares of Whitehall, which represents an increase in the Company’s economic stake from 75% to 80%. Additionally, if, during the 210 day period immediately following the effectiveness of the registration statement the Company is obligated to file to register the shares of Company common stock obtained by the seller in this transaction, the seller sells any of the Company common stock it acquired in the transaction for an average sales price per share, weighted by volume, that is less than $12.03, per share, the Company must pay to the seller the excess, if any, of $12.03 over the volume weighted average sales price per share of the Company’s common stock on the day the sale took place, multiplied by the total number of shares sold. Finally, the Company may be obligated to make an additional cash payment to the seller, ranging from €0 to €1,500,000, based upon whether and to what extent the price of a share of the Company’s common stock exceeds $12.03 during that same 210 day period. If the Company must make any such payment, it will receive in return up to an additional 75 Class B shares, which represents up to an additional 1% economic stake of Whitehall, based on the size of the payment.

On June 25, 2008, the Company completed a public offering of 3,250,000 shares of common stock, at an offering price to the public of $68.00 per share. In addition, pursuant to the terms of the offering the underwriters exercised their over-allotment option for an additional 325,000 shares. The net proceeds from the offering, including the sale of shares in accordance with the over-allotment option, was $233.8 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. The majority of the proceeds of the equity offering were used to fund a portion of the Company’s investment in the Russian Alcohol Group.

 

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The Company’s primary uses of cash in the future will be to fund its working capital requirements, service indebtedness, finance capital expenditures and fund acquisitions, including pursuant to existing arrangements described below. The Company expects to fund these requirements in the future with cash flows from its operating activities, cash on hand, the financing arrangements described above and other financing arrangements it may enter into from time to time. However, recent significant changes in market liquidity conditions resulting in a tightening in the credit markets and a reduction in the availability of debt and equity capital could impact our access to funding and our related funding costs (and we cannot provide assurances as to whether or on what terms such funding would be available), which could materially and adversely affect our ability to obtain and manage liquidity, to obtain additional capital and to restructure or refinance any of our existing debt.

Acquisitions—Purchase/Sale Rights

On March 13, 2008, the Company acquired 85% of the share capital of Copecresto Enterprises Limited, a producer and distributor of beverages in Russia, for $180,335,257 in cash and 2,238,806 shares of the Company’s common stock. In addition, on May 23, 2008, the Company’s subsidiary, Polmos Bialystok, closed on its acquisition of 50% minus one vote of the voting power and 75% of the economic interests in the Whitehall Group, a leading importer of premium spirits and wines in Russia, for $200 million in cash paid at closing, plus 843,524 shares of the Company’s common stock issued on October 21, 2008, plus an additional payment of $5,876,351 in cash and an additional issuance of 2,100,000 shares of the Company’s common stock, both made on February 24, 2009, as well as the obligation to make additional cash payments of $2,000,000 on March 15, €8,050,411 on June 15, 2009 and €8,303,630 on September 15, 2009, plus potential further cash payments based on the per share price of the Company’s common stock on a go-forward basis. In consideration for these payments, the Company received an additional 375 Class B shares of Whitehall, which represents an increases the Company’s economic stake from 75% to 80%. Finally, on July 9, 2008, the Company closed on its acquisition of approximately 47.5% of the common equity of a Cayman Islands company, referred to as Cayco, for approximately $181.5 million in cash, and purchased $103.5 million in subordinated exchangeable loan notes from a subsidiary of Cayco. Lion Capital LLP and certain of its affiliates and other financial investors own the remaining common equity of Cayco, which indirectly own approximately 88.4% of the outstanding equity of the Russian Alcohol Group. The Russian Alcohol Group, also referred to as “RAG,” is the leading vodka producer in Russia. The Company entered into shareholders’ agreements with the other shareholders of Copecresto, Whitehall and RAG, respectively, that include purchase and sale rights relating to the Company’s potential acquisition of the equity interests in these entities that are owned by the other shareholders thereof. The exercise of these rights could affect the Company’s liquidity.

Copecresto Acquisition

Pursuant to the Copecresto shareholders’ agreement, the Company has the right to purchase all (but not less than all) of the shares of Copecresto capital stock held by the other shareholder. The other shareholder has the right to require the Company to purchase any or all of the shares of Copecresto capital stock held by such other shareholder; provided, that such other shareholder may not exercise this right other than in respect of all of the shares of Copecresto capital stock it holds if the amount of Copecresto capital stock subject to such exercise is less than 1% of the total outstanding capital stock of Copecresto.

The Company’s right may be exercised beginning on March 13, 2015 and will terminate on the earliest to occur of (1) the delivery of a notice of default under the shareholders’ agreement, (2) the delivery of a notice of the other shareholder’s exercise of its right in respect of all of the Copecresto capital stock held by such shareholder and (3) the date that is ten years after the date of completion of certain reorganization transactions relating to Copecresto. The other shareholder’s right may be exercised beginning on March 13, 2011 and will terminate on the earliest to occur of (A) the delivery of a notice of default under the shareholders’ agreement, (B) the Company’s exercise of its right and (C) the date that is ten years after the date of completion of certain reorganization transactions relating to Copecresto. The other shareholder also may exercise its right one or more times within the three months following any change in control of the Company or of Bols Sp. z o.o., a subsidiary of the Company.

 

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The aggregate price that the Company would be required to pay in the event either of these rights is exercised will be equal to the product of (x) a fraction, the numerator of which is the total number of shares of capital stock of Copecresto covered by the exercise of the right, and the denominator of which is the total number of shares of capital stock of Copecresto then outstanding, multiplied by (y) the EBITDA of Copecresto from the year immediately preceding the year in which the right is exercised, multiplied by (z) 12, if the right is exercised in 2010 or before, 11, if the right is exercised in 2011, or 10, if the right is exercised in 2012 or later; provided, that in no event will the product of (y) and (z), above, be less than $300,000,000.

Whitehall Acquisition

On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates, entered into, and closed upon, a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements whereby the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests, in the Whitehall Group. The Whitehall Group is a leading importer of premium spirits and wines in Russia. The aggregate consideration paid by the Company was $200 million, paid in cash at the closing. In addition, on October 21, 2008 the Company issued to the Seller 843,524 shares of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

On February 24, 2009, the Company and the seller amended the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement governing the Whitehall acquisition to satisfy the Company’s obligations to the seller pursuant to a share price guarantee in the original Stock Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of this amendment, the Company paid to the seller $5,876,351 in cash, and issued to the seller 2,100,000 shares of its common stock, in settlement of a minimum share price guarantee by the Company. The Company is further obligated to make an additional cash payment of $2,000,000 on March 15, 2009. Deferred payments already due under the original Stock Purchase Agreement are to be paid with €8,050,411 due on June 15, 2009 and €8,303,630 due on September 15, 2009. In consideration for these payments, the Company received an additional 375 Class B shares of Whitehall, which represents an increase in the Company’s economic stake from 75% to 80%. Additionally, if, during the 210 day period immediately following the effectiveness of the registration statement the Company is obligated to file to register the shares of Company common stock obtained by the seller in this transaction, the seller sells any of the Company common stock it acquired in the transaction for an average sales price per share, weighted by volume, that is less than $12.03, per share, the Company must pay to the seller the excess, if any, of $12.03 over the volume weighted average sales price per share of the Company’s common stock on the day the sale took place, multiplied by the total number of shares sold. Finally, the Company may be obligated to make an additional cash payment to the seller, ranging from €0 to €1,500,000, based upon whether and to what extent the price of a share of the Company’s common stock exceeds $12.03 during that same 210 day period. If the Company must make any such payment, it will receive in return up to an additional 75 Class B shares, which represents up to an additional 1% economic stake of Whitehall, based on the sized of the payment.

Pursuant to the Whitehall shareholders’ agreement, Polmos Bialystok has the right to purchase, and the other shareholder has the right to require Polmos Bialystok to purchase, all (but not less than all) of the shares of Whitehall capital stock held by such shareholder. Either of these rights may be exercised at any time, subject, in certain circumstances, to the consent of third parties. The aggregate price that the Company would be required to pay in the event either of these rights is exercised will fall within a range determined based on Whitehall’s EBIT as well as the EBIT of certain related businesses, during two separate periods: (1) the period from January 1, 2008 through the end of the year in which the right is exercised, and (2) the two full financial years immediately preceding the end of the year in which the right is exercised, plus, in each case, the time-adjusted value of any dividends paid by Whitehall. Subject to certain limited exceptions, the exercise price will be (A) no less than the future value as of the date of exercise of $32.0 million and (B) no more than the future value as of the date of exercise of $89.0 million, plus, in each case, the time-adjusted value of any dividends paid by Whitehall.

Russian Alcohol Group Acquisition

Pursuant to the RAG shareholders’ agreement, the Company has the right to purchase, and Cayco has the right to require the Company to purchase, all (but not less than all) of the outstanding capital stock of a majority-owned subsidiary of Cayco held by Cayco, which in either case would give the Company indirect control over RAG.

 

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The Company’s right is exercisable during two 45-day periods, the first commencing on the later of (1) the date that the audited 2009 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub and (2) the date on which all earnout payments that are payable in connection with the acquisition of RAG have been paid, which period is referred to as the “2010 Period”, and the second commencing on the date that the audited 2010 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub, which period is referred to as the “2011 Period”. The Company’s right may be extended after the end of the 2011 Period in a limited circumstance to a period commencing on the date that the audited 2011 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub, which period is referred to as the “2012 Period”. If the Company exercises its right, Cayco will be obligated to exercise its drag-along rights under the shareholders agreement governing Cayco Sub to cause the transfer to the Company, on the same terms, the remaining capital stock of Cayco Sub not held by Cayco. Cayco’s right will be exercisable during the 2010 Period and the 2011 Period and will expire one day after the end of the 2011 Period, and will be extended if the Company’s right is extended to the 2012 Period.

The price the Company would be required to pay in the event either of these rights is exercised will be equal to the adjusted equity value of Russian Alcohol Group, determined based on EBITDA multiplied by the product of Cayco’s ownership percentage and 14.05, 13.14, or 12.80, depending on when the right is exercised, less the debt of Russian Alcohol Group plus certain adjustments for cash and working capital. That price, however, in the case of the Company’s right, is subject to a floor equal to the total original euro equivalent amount (based upon a exchange rate of 1.57) invested by the other party in Cayco multiplied by 2.05 in 2010 or 2.20 in 2009 and converted back to U.S. dollars at the spot rate at the time, depending on when the right is exercised (in either case less any dividends or distributions actually received). Russian Alcohol Group has approximately $200 million of net indebtedness in place that, following any exercise of the Company’s or Cayco’s rights described above, may be required to be refinanced or retired by the terms of our other indebtedness. The Company’s management estimates that the amount the Company would be required to pay would be between $350 million and $650 million (payable in mid- 2010) if the above rights are exercised. This estimate is based on currently available information and management’s current views with respect to future events and the future financial performance of Russian Alcohol Group, as of the date hereof. These estimates, projections and views are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ from management’s current estimates, projections and views, including the effects of fluctuations in currency valuations between the U.S. dollar and the Russian ruble and U.S. dollar and Euro, and the risks and uncertainties identified in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We are engaged in discussions with Lion Capital to restructure the current agreement regarding the buyout of the remaining 58% stake in the Russian Alcohol Group, the largest spirit producer in Russia. Although the discussions are not final, and remain subject to further legal, accounting and tax analysis, as well as board approval, we are in general agreement with Lion Capital on the main commercial objectives. We expect an agreement would include a fixed price for the remaining 58% interest in the Russian Alcohol Group that we do not own (including the conversion of our $103.5 million plus accrued interest of loan notes) at a valuation that is more reflective of current market conditions and the positive sales performance of the business. Our payments would be spread out over 5 years ending in the year 2013, with smaller payments for 2009 and 2013 and more equal payments from years 2010 to 2012, and we would agree to certain security arrangements to Lion. We would not take control over the Russian Alcohol Group until 2011, though we would receive significantly enhanced minority rights. We would expect to finance the transaction over the 5 years through a combination of cash, debt and equity. We cannot provide any assurances as to whether, or on what terms, we may reach an agreement to restructure our arrangements in respect of the Russian Alcohol Group.

In the event that the Company is required to refinance or retire the indebtedness described above, and/or acquires the capital stock of Copecresto, Whitehall or Cayco Sub, such transactions would be financed through additional sources of debt or equity funding. We cannot provide assurances as to whether or on what terms such funding would be available.

Capital Expenditure

Our net capital expenditure on tangible fixed assets for the twelve months ending December 31, 2008, 2007, and 2006 was $15.6 million, $23.1 million and $9.7 million, respectively. Capital expenditures during the twelve

 

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months ended December 31, 2008 were used primarily for production equipment and fleet. Capital expenditures during the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 were used primarily for investments in rectification of approximately $16 million, as well as fleet, information systems and plant maintenance. Capital expenditures during the twelve months ended December 31, 2006 were used primarily for investments in fleet, information systems and plant maintenance.

We have estimated that maintenance capital expenditure for 2009, 2010 and 2011 for our existing business combined with our acquired businesses will be approximately $8.0 to $12.0 million per year. Future capital expenditure is expected to be used for our continued investment in information technology, trucks, and routine improvements to production facilities. Pursuant to our acquisition of Polmos Bialystok, the Company is required to ensure that Polmos Bialystok will make investments of at least 77.5 million Polish Zloty (approximately $26.2 million based on year end exchange rate) during the five years after the consummation of the acquisition. As of December 31, 2008 the company has completed 80% of these investment commitments.

A substantial portion of these future capital expenditure amounts are discretionary, and we may adjust spending in any period according to our needs. We currently intend to finance all of our capital expenditure through cash generated from operating activities.

Contractual Obligations

The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2008:

 

     Payments due by period
     Total    Less than
1 year
   1-3
years
   3-5
years
   More than
5 years
     (unaudited)
($ in thousands)

Long-term debt obligations

   $ 826,482    $ —      $ 155,510    $ 670,972    $ —  

Interest on long-term debt

     164,896      45,218      86,858      32,820   

Short-term debt obligations

     109,552      109,552      —        —        —  

Deferred payments related to acquisitions

     42,819      41,087      1,732      —        —  

Operating leases

     18,784      4,631      8,438      5,715      —  

Capital leases

     4,579      2,385      2,194      —        —  

Contracts with suppliers

     8,636      3,499      4,683      454      —  
                                  

Total

   $ 1,175,748    $ 206,372    $ 259,415    $ 709,961    $ —  
                                  

Effects of Inflation and Foreign Currency Movements

Actual inflation in Poland was 4.2% in 2008, compared to inflation of 2.5% in 2007.

Substantially all of Company’s operating cash flows and assets are denominated in Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble and Hungarian Forint. This means that the Company is exposed to translation movements both on its balance sheet and income statement. The impact on working capital items is demonstrated on the cash flow statement as the movement in exchange on cash and cash equivalents. The impact on the income statement is by the movement of the average exchange rate used to restate the income statement from Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble and Hungarian Forint to U.S. Dollars. The amounts shown as exchange rate gains or losses on the face of the income statement relate only to realized gains or losses on transactions that are not denominated in Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble or Hungarian Forint.

The average Zloty/Dollar exchange rate used to create our income statement appreciated by approximately 13%. The actual year end Zloty/Dollar exchange rate used to create our balance sheet depreciated by approximately 22% as compared to December 31, 2007.

 

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However, as discussed above, recently the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble have depreciated sharply against the U.S. Dollar. From September 2008 to February 2009, the Polish Zloty depreciated by approximately 50% against the U.S. Dollar, and the Russian Ruble depreciated by approximately 45% against the U.S. Dollar. Should this trend continue, our results of operations may be negatively impacted due to a reduction in revenue in U.S. Dollar terms from the currency translation effects of that depreciation. This may be partially offset by a similar decrease in costs in U.S. Dollar terms. Conversely if the trend reverses our results of operations may be positively impacted due to an increase in revenue in U.S. Dollar terms from the currency translation effects of that appreciation.

As a result of the issuance of the Company’s Senior Secured Notes due 2012 of which €245 million in principal amount is currently outstanding, we are exposed to foreign exchange movements. Movements in the EUR-Polish Zloty exchange rate will require us to revalue our liability on the Senior Secured Notes accordingly, the impact of which will be reflected in the results of the Company’s operations. Every one percent movement in the EUR-Polish Zloty exchange rate will have an approximate $3.5 million change in the valuation of the liability with the offsetting pre-tax gain or losses recorded in the profit and loss of the Company. In order to manage the cash flow impact of foreign exchange changes, the Company has entered into certain hedge agreements. As of December 31, 2008, the Company had outstanding a hedge contract for a seven year interest rate swap agreement. The swap agreement exchanges a fixed Euro based coupon of 8%, with a variable Euro based coupon (IRS) based upon the six month Euribor rate plus a margin.

The proceeds of our $310 million Senior Convertible Notes have been on-lent to subsidiaries that have the Polish Zloty as the functional currency. Movements in the USD-Polish Zloty exchange rate will require us to revalue our liability on the Senior Convertible Notes accordingly, the impact of which will be reflected in the results of the Company’s operations. Every one percent movement in the USD-Polish Zloty exchange rate will have an approximate $3.0 million change in the valuation of the liability with the offsetting pre-tax gain or losses recorded in the profit and loss of the Company.

The effect of having debt denominated in currencies other than the Company’s functional currencies (primarily the Company’s Senior Secured Notes and Senior Convertible Notes) is to increase or decrease the value of the Company’s liabilities on that debt in terms of the Company’s functional currencies when those functional currencies depreciate or appreciate in value, respectively. As the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble have fallen in value in recent months, the conversion of these U.S. Dollars or Euro liabilities in the subsidiaries of CEDC that have the Polish Zloty or Russian Ruble as their functional currency will require an increased valuation of that liability in the functional currency. This revaluation impacts the Company’s results of operations through the recognition of unrealized non cash foreign exchange rate gains or losses in our results of operations. In the case of the Senior Secured Notes and Senior Convertible Notes the full principal amount is due in 2012 and 2013 respectively; therefore, final local currency obligations will only be recognized then as a realized gain or loss.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

General

The Company’s discussion and analysis of its financial condition and results of operations are based upon the Company’s consolidated financial statements which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The preparation of these financial statements requires the Company to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of net sales, expenses, assets and liabilities. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions and conditions.

 

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Revenue Recognition

Revenues of the Company include sales of its own produced spirit brands, imported wine, beer and spirit brands as well as other third party alcoholic products purchased locally in Poland, the sale of each of these revenues streams are all processed and accounted for in the same manner. For all of its sources of revenue, the Company recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery of product has occurred, the sales price charged is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured. This generally means that revenue is recognized when title to the products are transferred to our customers. In particular, title usually transfers upon shipment to or receipt at our customers’ locations, as determined by the specific sales terms of the transactions.

Sales are stated net of sales tax (VAT) and reflect reductions attributable to consideration given to customers in various customer incentive programs, including pricing discounts on single transactions, volume discounts, promotional listing fees and advertising allowances, cash discounts and rebates. Net sales revenue includes excise tax except in the case where the sales are made from the production unit, in which case it is recorded net of excise tax.

Goodwill and Intangibles

Following the adoption of SFAS 141 and SFAS 142, goodwill and certain intangible assets having indefinite lives are no longer subject to amortization. Their book values are tested annually for impairment, or more frequently, if facts and circumstances indicate the need. Fair value measurement techniques, such as the discounted cash flow methodology, are utilized to assess potential impairments. The testing is performed at each reporting unit level. In the discounted cash flow method, the Company discounts forecasted performance plans to their present value. The discount rate utilized is the weighted average cost of capital for the reporting unit. US GAAP requires the impairment test to be performed in two stages. If the first stage does not indicate that the carrying values of the reporting units exceed the fair values, the second stage is not required. When the first stage indicates potential impairment, the company has to complete the second stage of the impairment test and compare the implied fair value of the reporting units’ goodwill to the corresponding carrying value of goodwill.

Intangibles are amortized over their effective useful life. In estimating fair value, management must make assumptions and projections regarding such items as future cash flows, future revenues, future earnings, and other factors. The assumptions used in the estimate of fair value are generally consistent with the past performance of each reporting unit and are also consistent with the projections and assumptions that are used in current operating plans. Such assumptions are subject to change as a result of changing economic and competitive conditions. If these estimates or their related assumptions change in the future, the Company may be required to record an impairment loss for the assets. The fair values calculated have been adjusted where applicable to reflect the tax impact upon disposal of the asset.

In connection with the Bols and Bialystok acquisitions, the Company has acquired trademark rights to various brands, which were capitalized as part of the purchase price allocation process. As these brands are well established they have been assessed to have an indefinite life. These trademarks rights will not be amortized; however, management assesses them at least once a year for impairment.

In connection with Parliament acquisition the Company has included in non-amortizable intangible assets the valuation of the Parliament trademark, which was capitalized as part of the purchase price allocation process. As this brand is well established it has been assessed to have an indefinite life. This trademark right will not be amortized; however, management assesses it at least once a year for impairment.

 

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In order to perform the test of the impairment for goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets, it requires the use of estimates. We based our calculations as at December 31, 2008 on the following assumptions:

 

   

Risk free rates for Poland, Russia and Hungary used for calculation of discount rate were based upon current market rates of long term Polish Government Bonds rates, long term Russian Government Bonds rates and long term Hungarian Government Bonds. When estimating discount rates to be used for the calculation we have taken into account current market conditions in Poland, Russia and Hungary separately. As a result of our assumptions and calculations, we have determined discount rates of 8.81%, 14.24% and 14.56% for Poland, Russia and Hungary, respectively. Factoring in a deviation of 10% for the discount rate as compared to management’s estimate, there would still be no need for an impairment charge against goodwill.

 

   

We have tested goodwill for impairment separately for the following reporting units: Vodka Production, Domestic Distribution, Hungary Distribution, Parliament Group and Whitehall Group.

 

   

We estimated the growth rates in projecting cash flows for each of our reporting generating unit separately, based on a detailed five year plan related to each reporting unit.

Taking into account estimations supporting our calculations under current market trends and conditions we believe that no impairment charge is considered necessary through the date of the accompanying financial statements.

Accounting for Business Combinations

The acquisition of businesses is an important element of the Company’s strategy. We account for our acquisitions under the purchase method of accounting in accordance with SFAS 141, Business Combinations, and allocate the assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their estimated fair values at the acquisition date. The determination of the values of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed, as well as associated asset useful lives, requires management to make estimates. The Company’s acquisitions typically result in goodwill and other intangible assets; the value and estimated life of those assets may affect the amount of future period amortization expense for intangible assets with finite lives as well as possible impairment charges that may be incurred.

The calculation of purchase price allocation requires judgment on the part of management in determining the valuation of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed.

The Company has consolidated the Whitehall Group as a business combination, on the basis that the Whitehall Group is a Variable Interest Entity in accordance with FIN 46R, Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities and the Company has been assessed as being the primary beneficiary.

Derivative Instruments

The Company is exposed to market movements from changes in foreign currency exchange rates that could affect the Company’s results of operations and financial condition. In accordance with SFAS 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, the Company recognizes all derivatives as either assets or liabilities on the balance sheet and measures those instruments at fair value.

The fair values of the Company’s derivative instruments can change with fluctuations in interest rates and/or currency rates and are expected to offset changes in the values of the underlying exposures. The Company’s derivative instruments are held to hedge economic exposures. The Company follows internal policies to manage interest rate and foreign currency risks, including limitations on derivative market-making or other speculative activities.

 

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At the inception of a transaction the Company documents the relationship between the hedging instruments and hedged items, as well as its risk management objective. This process includes linking all derivatives designated to specific firm commitments or forecasted transitions. The Company also documents its assessment, both at the hedge inception and on an ongoing basis, of whether the derivative financial instruments that are used in hedging transactions are highly effective in offsetting changes in fair value or cash flows of hedged items.

Involvement of the Company in variable interest entities(“VIEs”) and continuing involvement with transferred financial assets.

On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates, entered into, and closed upon, a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements whereby the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests, in the Whitehall Group.

Transfers of Financial Assets

Except for the amount of $7.5 million that was lent at market rates as a working capital by the Company to the Whitehall Group there were no transfers of financial assets to VIE as the Whitehall Group is a self financing body. Including the $7.5 million transfer, the Company does not have any continuing involvement with transferred financial assets that allow the transferors to receive cash flows or other benefits from the assets or requires the transferors to provide cash flows or other assets in relation to the transferred financial assets.

Variable Interest Entities

CEDC consolidated the Whitehall Group as a business combination as of May 23, 2008, on the basis that the Whitehall Group is a Variable Interest Entity (“VIE”) and the Company has been assessed as being the primary beneficiary. Included within the Whitehall Group is a 50/50 joint venture with Möet Henessy. This joint venture is accounted for using the equity method and is recorded on the face of the balance sheet in investments with minority interest initially recorded at fair value on the face of the balance sheet. The current term of the joint venture is until June 2013 at which point the Whitehall Group will have the option to acquire the remaining shares of the entity.

Based upon the review of Paragraph 4 CEDC management has concluded that its interest in Puella Enterprises, the special purpose vehicle (“SPV”), being a Cyprus company in which CEDC has 49.9% voting power, would not fall under any of scope exceptions. Therefore CEDC has evaluated whether the SPV is a variable interest entity under the provisions of paragraph 5 and thus the SPV subject to consolidation accounting.

In determining the accounting treatment if the Whitehall Group is a VIE and needs to be consolidated by CEDC, we considered the conditions outlined in Paragraphs 5 (a), (b), or (c) of FIN 46R.

 

   

Paragraph 5(a)—Equity Investment at Risk—We concluded that the SPV would not meet the requirement of a VIE based upon paragraph 5(a) as the interest would be classified as equity under US GAAP, the at risk equity is sufficient to permit the entity to finance its activities. Neither equity holder will provide any additional material capital into the SPV. The SPV will be utilized solely as a holding company with its economics determined by the underlying Whitehall Group.

 

   

Paragraph 5(b)—Controlling Financial Interests—Both shareholders, Mark Kaufmann acting through a Jersey trust (“the Trust”) and CEDC, are able to direct the activities and operations of the Whitehall Group through their roles on the Board of Directors and their responsibilities for selection of executive level officers. However, the ultimate obligation to absorb losses of the entity or right to receive the residual benefits will lie with CEDC at the time the put/call term ends. Should the business not perform, the Trust will have the right to put his shares to CEDC with a pre-agreed floor on the value of the put option. Thus the Company is at risk of absorbing a greater portion of losses upon the Trust’s exit than the Trust itself. Conversely at the end of the term, CEDC can call and if the business has over

 

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performed, the amount paid to the Trust on the call is capped at a pre-agreed amount. As such, because the Trust is both limited in its losses and returns through the terms of the put/call with caps and floors, this criterion is met and would cause Whitehall Group to be considered a VIE.

 

   

Paragraph 5(c)—Disproportionate Voting Rights—The voting rights of the Trust and CEDC (50.1% and 49.9%) are not proportionate to their economic interests (25% and 75%). In this structure, it appears CEDC has disproportionately fewer voting rights in relation to its economic rights.

Further, the below activities of the entity that are more closely associated with the activities of CEDC, thereby having substantially of the entity’s activities conducted on its behalf. As CEDC has disproportionately fewer rights while substantially all of Whitehall Group’s activities are for CEDC, this would indicate that Whitehall Group lacks characteristic:

 

   

The operations of Whitehall Group are substantially similar in nature to the activities of CEDC;

 

   

CEDC has a call option to purchase the interests of the other investors in the entity;

 

   

The Trust has an option to put his interests to CEDC.

Both the Trust and CEDC are precluded from transferring its interests in the SPV to any third-party without consent from the other party. Transfers are subject to an absolute other party discretion standard, other than limited permitted transfers (i.e., to affiliates). As such, it appears a de facto relationship exists.

The primary factor to be considered here is the design and intent of the variable interest entity. The SPV that holds the Whitehall Group and the related shareholders agreement were created with the clear intent to maximize the financial exposure that CEDC has to the Whitehall Group business and to ultimately allow CEDC to take full control of the business in 2012. CEDC bears the greatest level of economic share of the entities performance, both in terms of profit allocation (75%) and valuation of the put/call option at the end with a clear floor and cap on payment. The put/call structure in place provide near assurance that at the end of the term CEDC will take full ownership of the business. Should the business perform at or above plan, CEDC valuation is capped therefore would elect to call, and should the business under perform, the Trust will put the shares receiving the guaranteed minimum valuation.

Share Based Payments

As of January 1, 2006, the Company adopted SFAS No. 123(R) “Share-Based Payment” requiring the recognition of compensation expense in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income related to the fair value of its employee share-based options. SFAS No. 123(R) revises SFAS No. 123 “Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation” and supersedes APB Opinion No. 25 “Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees”. SFAS No. 123(R) is supplemented by SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) No. 107 “Share-Based Payment”. SAB No. 107 expresses the SEC staff’s views regarding the interaction between SFAS No. 123(R) and certain SEC rules and regulations including the valuation of share-based payments arrangements.

Grant-date fair value of stock options is estimated using a lattice-binomial option-pricing model. We recognize compensation cost for awards over the vesting period. The majority of our stock options have a vesting period between one to three years.

See Note 14 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for more information regarding stock-based compensation.

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

In December 2007, the FASB issued SFAS No. 141-R, “Business Combinations”. This Statement applies prospectively to business combinations for which the acquisition date is on or after the beginning of the first annual reporting period beginning on or after December 15, 2008, which are business combinations in the year

 

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ending December 31, 2009 for the Company. The objective of this Statement is to improve the relevance, representational faithfulness, and comparability of the information that a reporting entity provides in its financial reports about a business combination and its effects.

In December 2007, the FASB issued SFAS No. 160, “Noncontrolling Interests in Consolidated Financial Statements” (SFAS 160), which the Company will adopt on January 1, 2009. SFAS 160 amends Accounting Research Bulletin No. 51, “Consolidated Financial Statements” (ARB 51) and establishes accounting and reporting standards for the noncontrolling interest in a subsidiary and for the accounting for future ownership changes with respect to those subsidiaries. The most significant impact of the standard, at adoption, will be to retrospectively reclassify our minority interests ($48 million at December 31, 2008) from a liability to a separate component of stockholders equity and to retrospectively reclassify income from minority interests from a component of net income to income attributable to the parent company ($10 million for the year ended December 31, 2008) which will be presented below net income. All other components of SFAS 160 will be applied prospectively.

In March 2008, the FASB issued SFAS No. 161, “Disclosures about Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities—An Amendment of SFAS No. 133”. SFAS 161 seeks to improve financial reporting for derivative instruments and hedging activities by requiring enhanced disclosures regarding the impact on financial position, financial performance, and cash flows. To achieve this increased transparency, SFAS 161 requires (1) the disclosure of the fair value of derivative instruments and gains and losses in a tabular format; (2) the disclosure of derivative features that are credit risk-related; and (3) cross-referencing within the footnotes. SFAS 161 is effective for us on January 1, 2009. We are in the process of evaluating the new disclosure requirements under SFAS 161.

In May 2008, the FASB issued FSP APB 14-1, which impacts the accounting treatment for convertible debt instruments that allow for either mandatory or optional cash settlements. FSP APB 14-1 will impact the accounting associated with our $310.0 million senior convertible notes. This FSP will require us to recognize significant additional (non-cash) interest expense based on the market rate for similar debt instruments without the conversion feature. Furthermore, it requires recognizing interest expense in prior periods pursuant to the retrospective accounting treatment. FSP APB 14-1 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2008 (our fiscal 2009) and early adoption is not permitted. We are currently evaluating the impact on our financial statements of applying the provisions of FSP APB 14-1. Assuming applicable market rate, we would be required to record additional non-cash interest expense of approximately $3.7 million annually. On a retrospective basis we would be required to reflect additional non-cash interest of approximately $2.8 million for fiscal 2008.

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure about Market Risk

Our operations are conducted primarily in Poland and Russia and our functional currencies are primarily the Polish Zloty, Hungarian Forint and Russian Ruble and the reporting currency is the U.S. Dollar. Our financial instruments consist mainly of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventories, bank loans, overdraft facilities and long-term debt. All of the monetary assets represented by these financial instruments are located in Poland. Consequently, they are subject to currency translation movements when reporting in U.S. Dollars.

If the U.S. Dollar increases in value against the Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble or Hungarian Forint, the value in U.S. Dollars of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses originally recorded in Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble or Hungarian Forint will decrease. Conversely, if the U.S. Dollar decreases in value against the Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble or Hungarian Forint, the value in U.S. Dollars of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses originally recorded in Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble or Hungarian Forint will increase. Thus, increases and decreases in the value of the U.S. Dollar can have a material impact on the value in U.S. Dollars of our non-U.S. Dollar assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, even if the value of these items has not changed in their original currency.

 

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As discussed above, recently the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble have depreciated sharply against the U.S. Dollar. Should this trend continue, our results of operations may be negatively impacted due to a reduction in revenue in U.S. Dollar terms from the currency translation effects of that depreciation. This may be partly offset by a similar decrease in costs in U.S. Dollar terms. Conversely if the trend reverses our results of operations may be positively impacted due to an increase in revenue in U.S. Dollar terms from the currency translation effects of that appreciation.

Our commercial foreign exchange exposure mainly arises from the fact that substantially all of our revenues are denominated in Polish Zloty, our Senior Secured Notes are denominated in Euros and our Senior Convertible Notes are denominated in US Dollars. This debt has been on-lent to the operating subsidiary level in Poland, thus exposing the Company to movements in the EUR/Polish Zloty and USD/Polish Zloty exchange rate. Every one percent movement in the EUR-Polish Zloty exchange rate will have an approximate $3.5 million change in the valuation of the liability with the offsetting pre-tax gain or losses recorded in the profit and loss of the Company. Every one percent movement in the USD-Polish Zloty exchange rate will have an approximate $3.0 million change in the valuation of the liability with the offsetting pre-tax gain or losses recorded in the profit and loss of the Company.

As a result of the remaining outstanding €245.44 million Senior Secured Notes and our $310 million of Senior Convertible Notes which have been on-lent to Polish Zloty operating companies, we are exposed to foreign exchange movements. Movements in the EUR/Polish Zloty and USD/Polish Zloty exchange rate will require us to revalue our liability accordingly, the impact of which will be reflected in the results of the Company’s operations.

In order to manage the cash flow impact of foreign exchange changes, the Company has entered into certain hedge agreements. As of December 31, 2008, the Company had outstanding a hedge contract for a seven year interest rate swap agreement hedging 245.4 million EUR of the Senior Secured Notes. The swap agreement exchanges a fixed Euro based coupon of 8%, with a variable Euro based coupon (IRS) based upon the 6 month Euribor rate plus a margin. Any changes in Euribor will result in a change in the interest expense. Each basis point move in Euribor will result in an increase or a decrease in annual interest expense of €24,544.

In January 2009, the remaining portion of the IRS hedge related to the Senior Secured Notes was closed and written off with a net cash settlement of approximately $1.9 million.

The effect of having debt denominated in currencies other than the Company’s functional currencies (as the Company’s Senior Secured Notes and Senior Convertible Notes are) is to increase the value of the Company’s liabilities on that debt in terms of the Company’s functional currencies when those functional currencies depreciate in value. As the Polish Zloty and Russian Ruble have fallen in value in recent months, the value of the Company’s liabilities on the Senior Secured Notes and Senior Convertible Notes has increased, which impacts the Company’s results of operations through the recognition of significant non cash unrealized foreign exchange rate losses.

 

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Item 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

Index to consolidated financial statements:

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

   54

Consolidated Balance Sheets at December 31, 2008 and 2007

   56

Consolidated Statements of Income for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006

   57

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity for the years ended December  31, 2008, 2007 and 2006

   58

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006

   59

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

   60

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Board of Directors and Shareholders of

Central European Distribution Corporation

In our opinion, the accompanying consolidated balance sheets and the related consolidated statements of income, shareholders’ equity and cash flows present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Central European Distribution Corporation and its subsidiaries at December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2007, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2008 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2008, based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). The Company’s management is responsible for these financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting appearing under Item 9A. Our responsibility is to express opinions on these financial statements and on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our integrated audits (which were integrated audits in 2008 and 2007). We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

As described in Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting appearing under Item 9A, Management has excluded the Parliament Group and the Whitehall Group from its assessment of internal controls over financial reporting as of December 31, 2008, because these companies were acquired by the Company in purchase business combinations during the year ended December 31, 2008. The Parliament Group is a subsidiary of the Company that is controlled by ownership of a majority voting interest, whose total assets and total revenues represent 9.10% and 7.88%, respectively, of the related consolidated financial statements as of and

 

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for the year ended December 31, 2008. With respect to the Whitehall Group, the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interest. Total assets and total revenues of the Whitehall Group represent 9.07% and 10.21%, respectively, of the related consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2008.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Sp. z o.o.

Warsaw, Poland

March 2, 2009

 

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET

Amounts in columns expressed in thousands

(except share information)

 

     December 31,  
     2008     2007  
ASSETS     

Current Assets

    

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 107,601     $ 87,867  

Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $22,155 and
$29,277 respectively

    
     430,683       316,277  

Inventories

     180,304       141,272  

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

     22,894       16,536  

Deferred income taxes

     24,386       5,141  
                

Total Current Assets

     765,868       567,093  

Intangible assets, net

     570,505       545,697  

Goodwill, net

     745,256       577,282  

Property, plant and equipment, net

     92,221       79,979  

Deferred income taxes

     12,886       11,407  

Equity method investment in affiliates

     189,243       —    

Subordinated intercompany loans

     107,707       —    

Other assets

     —         710  
                
     1,717,818       1,215,075  
                

Total Assets

   $ 2,483,686     $ 1,782,168  
                
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY     

Current Liabilities

    

Trade accounts payable

   $ 234,948     $ 172,340  

Bank loans and overdraft facilities

     109,552       42,785  

Income taxes payable

     7,227       5,408  

Taxes other than income taxes

     125,774       101,929  

Other accrued liabilities

     80,270       71,959  

Current portions of obligations under capital leases

     2,385       1,759  
                

Total Current Liabilities

     560,156       396,180  

Long-term debt, less current maturities

     170,510       122,952  

Long-term obligations under capital leases

     2,194       2,708  

Long-term obligations under Senior Notes

     650,243       344,298  

Deferred income taxes

     106,486       100,113  
                

Total Long Term Liabilities

     929,433       570,071  

Minority interests

     48,248       481  

Stockholders’ Equity

    

Common Stock ($0.01 par value, 80,000,000 shares authorized, 47,344,874 and 40,566,096 shares issued at December 31, 2008 and 2007, respectively)

     473       406  

Additional paid-in-capital

     803,703       429,554  

Retained earnings

     188,595       205,186  

Accumulated other comprehensive income

     (46,772 )     180,440  

Less Treasury Stock at cost (246,037 shares at December 31, 2008 and 2007, respectively)

    
     (150 )     (150 )
                

Total Stockholders’ Equity

     945,849       815,436  
                

Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity

   $ 2,483,686     $ 1,782,168  
                

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated condensed financial statements.

 

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

Amounts in columns expressed in thousands

(except per share information)

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  

Sales

   $ 2,136,570     $ 1,483,344     $ 1,193,248  

Excise taxes

     (489,566 )     (293,522 )     (249,140 )

Net Sales

     1,647,004       1,189,822       944,108  

Cost of goods sold

     1,224,899       941,060       745,721  
                        

Gross Profit

     422,105       248,762       198,387  
                        

Operating expenses

     223,373       130,677       106,805  
                        

Operating Income

     198,732       118,085       91,582  
                        

Non operating income / (expense), net

      

Interest (expense), net

     (50,360 )     (35,829 )     (31,750 )

Other financial (expense), net

     (132,936 )     13,594       17,212  

Other non operating income / (expense), net

     410       (1,770 )     1,119  
                        

Income before taxes

     15,846       94,080       78,163  
                        

Income tax expense

     12,952       15,910       13,986  

Minority interests

     10,483       1,068       8,727  

Equity in net earnings of affiliates

     (9,002 )     —         —    
                        

Net income

   ($ 16,591 )   $ 77,102     $ 55,450  
                        

Net income per share of common stock, basic

   ($ 0.38 )   $ 1.93     $ 1.55  
                        

Net income per share of common stock, diluted

   ($ 0.38 )   $ 1.91     $ 1.53  
                        

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated condensed financial statements.

 

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CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

Amounts in columns expressed in thousands

(except per share information)

 

    Common Stock     Additional
Paid-in
Capital
    Retained
Earnings
    Accumu-
lated other
comprehen-
sive income
    Total  
    Common Stock   Treasury Stock                          
    No. of
Shares
  Amount   No. of
Shares
  Amount                          

Balance at December 31, 2005

  23,885   $ 239   164   ($ 150 )   $ 296,574     $ 72,634     $ 5,645     $ 374,942  
                                                     

Net income for 2006

  —       —           —         55,450       —         55,450  

Foreign currency translation adjustment

  —       —           —         —         12,022       12,022  
                                       

Comprehensive income for 2006

  —       —           —         55,450       12,022       67,472  

Contractual compensation

  2     —           57           57  

Effect of stock split June 12, 2006

  11,977     120   82       (120 )         —    

Common stock issued in public placement

  2,550     26         71,571           71,597  

Common stock issued in connection with options

  274     2         6,729       —           6,731  

Common stock issued in connection with acquisitions

  4     —           161       —         —         161  

Other

            13           13  

Balance at December 31, 2006

  38,692   $ 387   246   ($ 150 )   $ 374,985     $ 128,084     $ 17,667     $ 520,973  
                                                     

Net income for 2007

  —       —     —       —         —         77,102       —         77,102  

Foreign currency translation adjustment

  —       —     —       —         —         —         162,773       162,773  
                                       

Comprehensive income for 2007

  —       —     —       —         —         77,102       162,773       239,875  

Common stock issued in public placement

  1,554     16   —       —         42,338       —         —         42,354  

Common stock issued in connection with options

  272     3   —       —         5,538       —         —         5,541  

Common stock issued in connection with acquisitions

  48     0   —       —         1,693       —         —         1,693  

Refundable purchase price related to Botapol acquisition

  —       —     —       —         5,000       —         —         5,000  

Balance at December 31, 2007

  40,566   $ 406   246   ($ 150 )   $ 429,554     $ 205,186     $ 180,440     $ 815,436  
                                                     

Net income for 2008

  —       —     —       —         —         (16,591 )     —         (16,591 )

Foreign currency translation adjustment

  —       —     —       —         —         —         (227,212 )     (227,212 )
                                       

Comprehensive income for 2008

  —       —     —       —         —         (16,591 )     (227,212 )     (243,803 )

Common stock issued in public placement

  3,576     36   —       —         233,809       —         —         233,845  

Common stock issued in connection with options

  121     1   —       —         5,739       —         —         5,740  

Common stock issued in connection with acquisitions

  3,082     30   —       —         134,601       —         —         134,631  

Balance at December 31, 2008

  47,345   $ 473   246   ($ 150 )   $ 803,703     $ 188,595     ($ 46,772 )   $ 945,849  
                                                     

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated condensed financial statements.

 

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOW

Amounts in columns expressed in thousands

 

     Twelve months ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  

CASH FLOW

      

Operating Activities

      

Net income

   ($ 16,591 )   $ 77,102     $ 55,450  

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by / (used in) operating activities:

      

Depreciation and amortization

     14,786       9,968       8,739  

Deferred income taxes

     (19,282 )     9,957       2,205  

Minority interests

     10,483       1,044       8,727  

Hedge valuation

     —         —         (13,118 )

Unrealized foreign exchange (gains) / losses

     133,528       (23,940 )     (3,274 )

Cost of debt extinguishment

     1,156       11,864       —    

Stock options expense

     3,850       1,866       1,908  

Equity income in affiliates

     9,002       —         —    

Other non cash items

     (693 )     7,308       1,079  

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

      

Accounts receivable

     (121,589 )     (38,812 )     (7,554 )

Inventories

     (41,712 )     (21,986 )     (3,165 )

Prepayments and other current assets

     17,100       5,865       (2,026 )

Trade accounts payable

     62,459       (880 )     8,123  

Other accrued liabilities and payables

     19,699       (16,272 )     14,597  
                        

Net Cash provided by Operating Activities

     72,196       23,084       71,691  

Investing Activities

      

Investment in fixed assets

     (22,572 )     (25,787 )     (11,713 )

Proceeds from the disposal of fixed assets

     6,943       2,670       2,045  

Investment in trademarks

     —         —         (1,210 )

Purchase of financial assets

     (103,500 )     —         —    

Proceeds from the disposal of financial assets

     —         —         4,784  

Refundable purchase price related to Botapol acquisition

     —         5,000       —    

Acquisitions of subsidiaries, net of cash acquired

     (548,799 )     (141,005 )     (35,828 )
                        

Net Cash used in Investing Activities

     (667,928 )     (159,122 )     (41,922 )

Financing Activities

      

Borrowings on bank loans and overdraft facility

     120,586       13,225       15,379  

Borrowings on long-term bank loans

     43,192       122,508       —    

Payment of bank loans and overdraft facility

     (31,935 )     (30,153 )     (21,526 )

Payment of long-term borrowings

     —         8       (3 )

Payment of Senior Secured Notes

     (26,996 )     (95,440 )     —    

Hedge closure

     —         —         (7,323 )

Movements in capital leases payable

     1,216       445       (2,232 )

Issuance of shares in public placement

     233,845       42,354       71,719  

Net Borrowings on Convertible Senior Notes

     304,403       —         —    

Options exercised

     1,899       3,976       4,772  
                        

Net Cash provided by Financing Activities

     646,210       56,923       60,786  
                        

Currency effect on brought forward cash balances

     (30,744 )     7,620       8,062  

Net Increase / (Decrease) in Cash

     19,734       (71,495 )     98,617  

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

     87,867       159,362       60,745  
                        

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

   $ 107,601     $ 87,867     $ 159,362  
                        

Supplemental Schedule of Non-cash Investing Activities

      

Common stock issued in connection with investment in subsidiaries

   $ 134,631     $ 1,693     $ 161  
                        

Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information

      

Interest paid

   $ 55,426     $ 40,136     $ 37,256  

Income tax paid

   $ 33,919     $ 21,362     $ 11,980  
                        

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated condensed financial statements.

 

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

1. Organization and Significant Accounting Policies

Organization and Description of Business

Central European Distribution Corporation (“CEDC”), a Delaware corporation, and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as “we,” “us,” “our,” or the “Company”) operate primarily in the alcohol beverage industry. The Company is Central Europe’s largest integrated spirit beverages business. The Company is the largest vodka producer by value and volume in Poland and produces the Absolwent, Zubrowka, Bols and Soplica brands, among others. The Company currently exports its products to many markets around the world. In addition, it produces and distributes Royal Vodka, the number one selling vodka in Hungary. The Company is the leading distributor and the leading importer of spirits, wine and beer in Poland and Hungary. In March 2008, the Company continued its expansion plans in the region by purchasing an 85% stake in Copecresto Enterprises Limited, which owns the leading premium vodka brand in Russia, Parliament Vodka. In May 2008, the Company also acquired a 75% economic stake in the Whitehall Group of companies in Russia, which is one of the leading importers of premium wines and spirits in Russia. In July 2008, the Company closed a strategic investment in the Russian Alcohol Group (“Russian Alcohol”) providing the Company with an effective indirect equity stake of approximately 42% in Russian Alcohol.

Significant Accounting Policies

The significant accounting policies and practices followed by the Company are as follows:

Basis of Presentation

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Our Company consolidates all entities that we control by ownership of a majority voting interest. All inter-company accounts and transactions have been eliminated in the consolidated financial statements.

CEDC’s subsidiaries maintain their books of account and prepare their statutory financial statements in their respective local currencies. The subsidiaries’ financial statements have been adjusted to reflect accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (U.S. GAAP).

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Our Company consolidates all entities that we control by ownership of a majority voting interest. All inter-company accounts and transactions have been eliminated in the consolidated financial statements.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results may differ from those estimates and such differences may be material to the consolidated financial statements.

Foreign Currency Translation and Transactions

For all of the Company’s subsidiaries the functional currency is the local currency. Assets and liabilities of these operations are translated at the exchange rate in effect at each year-end. The Income Statements are

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

translated at the average rate of exchange prevailing during the respective year. Translation adjustments arising from the use of differing exchange rates from period to period are included as a component of stockholders’ equity. Transaction adjustments arising from operations as well as gains and losses from any specific foreign currency transactions are included in the reported net income for the period.

The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been presented in U.S. Dollars.

Tangible Fixed Assets

Tangible fixed assets are stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation of tangible fixed assets is computed by the straight-line method over the following useful lives:

 

Type

   Depreciation life
in years

Transportation equipment including capital leases

   5

Production equipment

   10

Software

   5

Computers and IT equipment

   3

Beer dispensing and other equipment

   2-10

Freehold land

   Not depreciated

Freehold buildings

   40

Leased equipment meeting appropriate criteria is capitalized and the present value of the related lease payments is recorded as a liability. Amortization of capitalized leased assets is computed on a straight-line method over the useful life of the relevant assets.

Where the cost of equipment is approximately $1,500 per transaction, it is expensed to the income statement as incurred.

The Company periodically reviews its investment in tangible fixed assets and when indicators of impairment exist, an impairment loss is recognized.

Goodwill

Following the adoption of SFAS 141 and SFAS 142, goodwill and certain intangible assets having indefinite lives are no longer subject to amortization. Their book values are tested annually for impairment, or more frequently, if facts and circumstances indicate the need. Fair value measurement techniques, such as the discounted cash flow methodology, are utilized to assess potential impairments. The testing is performed at each reporting unit level. In the discounted cash flow method, the Company discounts forecasted performance plans to their present value. The discount rate utilized is the weighted average cost of capital for the reporting unit. US GAAP requires the impairment test to be performed in two stages. If the first stage does not indicate that the carrying values of the reporting units exceed the fair values, the second stage is not required. When the first stage indicates potential impairment, the company has to complete the second stage of the impairment test and compare the implied fair value of the reporting units’ goodwill to the corresponding carrying value of goodwill.

 

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

Involvement of the Company in variable interest entities (“VIEs”) and continuing involvement with transferred financial assets.

On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates, entered into, and closed upon, a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements whereby the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests, in the Whitehall Group (“the Whitehall Acquisition”).

Transfers of Financial Assets

Except for the amount of $7.5 million that was lent at market rates as a working capital by the Company to the Whitehall Group there were no transfers of financial assets to VIE as the Whitehall Group is a self financing body. Including the $7.5 million transfer, the Company does not have any continuing involvement with transferred financial assets that allow the transferors to receive cash flows or other benefits from the assets or requires the transferors to provide cash flows or other assets in relation to the transferred financial assets.

Variable Interest Entities

CEDC consolidated the Whitehall Group as a business combination as of May 23, 2008, on the basis that the Whitehall Group is a Variable Interest Entity (“VIE”) and the Company has been assessed as being the primary beneficiary. Included within the Whitehall Group is a 50/50 joint venture with Möet Henessy. This joint venture is accounted for using the equity method and is recorded on the face of the balance sheet in investments with minority interest initially recorded at fair value on the face of the balance sheet. The current term of the joint venture is until June 2013 at which point the Whitehall Group will have the option to acquire the remaining shares of the entity.

Based upon the review of Paragraph 4 CEDC management has concluded that its interest in Puella Enterprises, the special purpose vehicle (“SPV”), being a Cyprus company in which CEDC has 49.9% voting power, would not fall under any of scope exceptions. Therefore CEDC has evaluated whether the SPV is a variable interest entity under the provisions of paragraph 5 and thus the SPV subject to consolidation accounting.

In determining the accounting treatment if the Whitehall Group is a VIE and needs to be consolidated by CEDC, we considered the conditions outlined in Paragraphs 5 (a), (b), or (c) of FIN 46R.

 

   

Paragraph 5(a)—Equity Investment at Risk—We concluded that the SPV would not meet the requirement of a VIE based upon paragraph 5(a) as the interest would be classified as equity under US GAAP, the at risk equity is sufficient to permit the entity to finance its activities. Neither equity holder will provide any additional material capital into the SPV. The SPV will be utilized solely as a holding company with its economics determined by the underlying Whitehall Group.

 

   

Paragraph 5(b)—Controlling Financial Interests—Both shareholders, Mark Kaufmann acting through a Jersey trust (“the Trust”) and CEDC, are able to direct the activities and operations of the Whitehall Group through their roles on the Board of Directors and their responsibilities for selection of executive level officers. However, the ultimate obligation to absorb losses of the entity or right to receive the residual benefits will lie with CEDC at the time the put/call term ends. Should the business not perform, the Trust will have the right to put his shares to CEDC with a pre-agreed floor on the value of the put option. Thus the Company is at risk of absorbing a greater portion of losses upon the Trust’s exit than the Trust itself. Conversely at the end of the term, CEDC can call and if the business has over performed, the amount paid to the Trust on the call is capped at a pre-agreed amount. As such, because the Trust is both limited in its losses and returns through the terms of the put/call with caps and floors, this criterion is met and would cause Whitehall Group to be considered a VIE.

 

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

   

Paragraph 5(c)—Disproportionate Voting Rights—The voting rights of the Trust and CEDC (50.1% and 49.9%) are not proportionate to their economic interests (25% and 75%). In this structure, it appears CEDC has disproportionately fewer voting rights in relation to its economic rights.

Further, the below activities of the entity that are more closely associated with the activities of CEDC, thereby having substantially of the entity’s activities conducted on its behalf. As CEDC has disproportionately fewer rights while substantially all of Whitehall Group’s activities are for CEDC, this would indicate that Whitehall Group lacks characteristic:

 

   

The operations of Whitehall Group are substantially similar in nature to the activities of CEDC;

 

   

CEDC has a call option to purchase the interests of the other investors in the entity;

 

   

The Trust has an option to put his interests to CEDC.

Both the Trust and CEDC are precluded from transferring its interests in the SPV to any third-party without consent from the other party. Transfers are subject to an absolute other party discretion standard, other than limited permitted transfers (i.e., to affiliates). As such, it appears a de facto relationship exists.

The primary factor to be considered here is the design and intent of the variable interest entity. The SPV that holds the Whitehall Group and the related shareholders agreement were created with the clear intent to maximize the financial exposure that CEDC has to the Whitehall Group business and to ultimately allow CEDC to take full control of the business in 2012. CEDC bears the greatest level of economic share of the entities performance, both in terms of profit allocation (75%) and valuation of the put/call option at the end with a clear floor and cap on payment. The put/call structure in place provide near assurance that at the end of the term CEDC will take full ownership of the business. Should the business perform at or above plan, CEDC valuation is capped therefore would elect to call, and should the business under perform, the Trust will put the shares receiving the guaranteed minimum valuation.

Purchase price allocations

We account for our acquisitions under the purchase method of accounting in accordance with SFAS 141, Business Combinations, and allocate the assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their estimated fair values at the acquisition date. The determination of the values of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed, as well as associated asset useful lives, requires management to make estimates.

Intangible assets other than Goodwill

Intangibles consist primarily of acquired trademarks relating to well established brands, and as such have been deemed to have an indefinite life. In accordance with SFAS 142, intangible assets with an indefinite life are not amortized but are reviewed at least annually for impairment. Additional intangible assets include the valuation of customer contracts arising as a result of acquisitions, these intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful life of 8 years.

Equity investments

If the Company is not required to consolidate its investment in another company, the Company uses the equity method if the Company can exercise significant influence over the other company. Under the equity method, investments are carried at cost, plus or minus the Company’s equity in the increases and decreases in the investee’s net assets after the date of acquisition and certain other adjustments. The Company’s share of the net

 

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

income or loss of the investee is included in equity in earnings of equity method investees on the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations. Dividends received from the investee reduce the carrying amount of the investment. Equity investments are reviewed for impairment at least annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the investments may not be recoverable.

Impairment of long lived assets

In accordance with SFAS 144, the Company reviews its long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset to estimated undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. If the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its estimated future cash flows, an impairment charge is recognized for the amount by which the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its fair value.

Revenue Recognition

Revenues of the Company include sales of its own produced spirit brands, imported wine, beer and spirit brands as well as other third party alcoholic products purchased locally in Poland, the sale of each of these revenues streams are all processed and accounted for in the same manner. For all of its sources of revenue, the Company recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery of product has occurred, the sales price charged is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured. This generally means that revenue is recognized when title to the products are transferred to our customers. In particular, title usually transfers upon shipment to or receipt at our customers’ locations, as determined by the specific sales terms of the transactions.

Sales are stated net of sales tax (VAT) and reflect reductions attributable to consideration given to customers in various customer incentive programs, including pricing discounts on single transactions, volume discounts, promotional listing fees and advertising allowances, cash discounts and rebates. Net sales revenue includes excise tax except in the case where the sales are made from the production unit, in which case it is recorded net of excise tax.

Revenue Dilution

As part of normal business terms with customers, the Company for provides additional discounts and rebates off our stand list price for all of the products we sell. These revenue reductions are documented in our contracts with our customers and are typically associated with annual or quarterly purchasing levels as well as payment terms. These rebates are divided into on-invoice and off-invoice discounts. The on-invoice reductions are presented on the sales invoice and deducted from the invoice gross sales value. The off-invoice reductions are calculated based on the analysis performed by management and are provided for in the same period the related sales are recorded. Discounts or fees that are subject to contractual based term arrangements are amortized over the term of the contract. For the twelve months ending December 31, 2008, the Company recognized $109.9 million of off invoice rebates as a reduction to net sales.

Certain sales contain customer acceptance provisions that grant a right of return on the basis of either subjective criteria or specified objective criteria. Where appropriate a provision is made for product return, based upon a combination of historical data as well as depletion information received from our larger clients. The Company’s policy is to closely monitor inventory levels with our key distribution customers to ensure that we do not create excess stock levels in the market which would result in a return of sales in the future. Historically sales returns from customers has averaged less than 1% of our net sales revenue.”

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

Shipping and Handling Costs

Where the Company has incurred costs in shipping goods to its warehouse facilities these costs are recorded as part of inventory and then to costs of goods sold. Shipping and handling costs associated with distribution are recorded in Selling, General and Administrative (S,G&A) costs.

Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivables are recorded based on the invoice price, inclusive of VAT (sales tax), and where a delivery note has been signed by the customer and returned to the Company. The allowances for doubtful accounts are based upon the aging of the accounts receivable, whereby the Company makes an allowance based on a sliding scale. The Company typically does not provide for past due amounts due from large international retail chains (hypermarkets and supermarkets) as there have historically not been any issues with collectability of these amounts. However, where circumstances require, the Company will also make specific provisions for any excess not provided for under the general provision. When a final determination is delivered to the Company regarding the non-recovery of a receivable, the Company then charges the unrecoverable amount to the accumulated allowance.

Inventories

Inventories are stated at the lower of cost (first-in, first-out method) or market value. Elements of cost include materials, labor and overhead and are classified as follows:

 

     December 31,
   2008    2007

Raw materials and supplies

   $ 18,352    $ 19,051

In-process inventories

     1,698      2,479

Finished goods and goods for resale

     160,254      119,742
             

Total

   $ 180,304    $ 141,272
             

Because of the nature of the products supplied by the Company, great attention is paid to inventory rotation. Where goods are estimated to be obsolete or unmarketable they are written down to a value reflecting the net realizable value in their relevant condition.

Cost includes customs duty (where applicable), and all costs associated with bringing the inventory to a condition for sale. These costs include importation, handling, storage and transportation costs, and exclude rebates received from suppliers, which are reflected as reductions to closing inventory. Inventories are comprised primarily of beer, wine, spirits, packaging materials and non-alcoholic beverages.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

Short-term investments which have a maturity of three months or less from the date of purchase are classified as cash equivalents.

Income Taxes and Deferred Taxes

The Company computes and records income taxes in accordance with the liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recorded based on the difference between the accounting and tax basis of the underlying assets and liabilities based on enacted tax rates expected to be in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse.

 

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

Employee Retirement Provisions

The Company’s employees are entitled to retirement payments and in some cases payments for long-service (“jubilee awards”) and accordingly the Company provides for the current value of the liability related to these benefits. A provision is calculated based on the terms set in the collective labor agreement. The amount of the provision for retirement bonuses depends on the age of employees and the pre-retirement time of work for the Company and typically equals one months salary.

The Company does not create a specific fund designated for these payments and all payments related to the benefits are charged to the accrued liability. The provision for the employees’ benefits is calculated annually using the projected unit method and any losses or gains resulting from the valuation are immediately recognized in the income statement.

The Company also contributes to State and privately managed defined contribution plans. Contributions to defined contribution plans are charged to the income statement in the period in which they are incurred.

Employee Stock-Based Compensation

As of January 1, 2006, the Company adopted SFAS No. 123(R) “Share-Based Payment” requiring the recognition of compensation expense in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income related to the fair value of its employee share-based options. SFAS No. 123(R) revises SFAS No. 123 “Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation” and supersedes APB Opinion No. 25 “Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees”. SFAS No. 123(R) is supplemented by SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) No. 107 “Share-Based Payment”. SAB No. 107 expresses the SEC staff’s views regarding the interaction between SFAS No. 123(R) and certain SEC rules and regulations including the valuation of share-based payments arrangements.

The Company recognizes the cost of all employee stock options on a straight-line attribution basis over their respective vesting periods, net of estimated forfeitures. The Company has selected the modified prospective method of transition; accordingly, prior periods have not been restated.

SFAS No. 123(R) “Share-Based Payment” requires the recognition of compensation expense in the Consolidated Statements of Income related to the fair value of employee share-based options. Determining the fair value of share-based awards at the grant date requires judgment, including estimating the expected term that stock options will be outstanding prior to exercise, the associated volatility and the expected dividends. Judgment is also required in estimating the amount of share-based awards expected to be forfeited prior to vesting. If actual forfeitures differ significantly from these estimates, share-based compensation expense could be materially impacted. Prior to adopting SFAS No. 123(R), the Company applied Accounting Principles Board (“APB”) Opinion No. 25, and related Interpretations, in accounting for its stock-based compensation plans. All employee stock options were granted at or above the grant date market price. Accordingly, no compensation cost was recognized for fixed stock option grants in prior periods.

The Company’s 2007 Stock Incentive Plan (“Incentive Plan”) provides for the grant of stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock and restricted stock units to directors, executives, and other employees (“employees”) of the Company and to non-employee service providers of the Company. Following a shareholder resolution in April 2003 and the stock splits of May 2003, May 2004 and June 2006, the Incentive Plan authorizes, and the Company has reserved for future issuance, up to 1,397,333 shares of Common Stock (subject to an anti-dilution adjustment in the event of a stock split, re-capitalization, or similar transaction). The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company administers the Incentive Plan.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

The option exercise price for stock options granted under the Incentive Plan may not be less than fair market value but in some cases may be in excess of the closing price of the Common Stock on the date of grant. The Company uses the stock option price based on the closing price of the Common Stock on the day before the date of grant if such price is not materially different than the opening price of the Common Stock on the day of the grant. Stock options may be exercised up to 10 years after the date of grant except as otherwise provided in the particular stock option agreement. Payment for the shares must be in cash, which must be received by the Company prior to any shares being issued. Stock options granted to directors and officers as part of an employee employment contract vest after 2 years. Stock options granted to general employees as part of a loyalty program vest after three years. The Incentive Plan was approved by CEDC shareholders during the annual shareholders meeting on April 30, 2007 to replace the Company’s 1997 Stock Incentive Plan (the “Old Stock Incentive Plan”), which expired in November 2007. The Stock Incentive Plan will expire in November 2017. The terms and conditions of the Stock Incentive Plan are substantially similar to those of the Old Stock Incentive Plan.

Before January 1, 2006 CEDC, the holding company, realized net operating losses and therefore an excess tax benefit (windfall) resulting from the exercise of the awards and a related credit to Additional Paid-in Capital (APIC) of $2.2 million was not recorded in the Company’s books. The excess tax benefits and the credit to APIC for the windfall should not be recorded until the deduction reduces income taxes payable on the basis that cash tax savings have not occurred. The Company will recognize the windfall upon realization.

See Note 13 for more information regarding stock-based compensation, including pro forma information required under SFAS No. 123 for periods prior to Fiscal 2006.

Derivative Financial Instruments

The Company uses derivative financial instruments, including interest rate swaps. Derivative financial instruments are initially recognized in the balance sheet at cost and are subsequently remeasured at their fair value. Changes in the fair value of derivative financial instruments are recognized periodically in either income or in shareholders’ equity as a component of comprehensive income depending on whether the derivative financial instrument qualifies for hedge accounting, and if so, whether it qualifies as a fair value hedge or a cash flow hedge.

Generally, changes in fair values of derivative financial instruments accounted for as fair value hedges are recorded in income along with the portions of the changes in the fair values of the hedged items that relate to the hedged risks. Changes in fair values of derivative financial instruments not qualifying as hedges are reported in income. At the inception of a transaction the Company documents the relationship between hedging instruments and hedged items, as well as its risk management objective and the strategy for undertaking various hedge transactions. This process includes linking all derivatives designated to specific firm commitments or forecasted transactions. The Company also documents its assessment, both at the hedge inception and on an ongoing basis, of whether the derivative financial instruments that are used in hedging transactions are highly effective in offsetting changes in fair values or cash flows of hedged items.

Comprehensive Income/(Loss)

Comprehensive income/(loss) is defined as all changes in equity during a period except those resulting from investments by owners and distributions to owners. Comprehensive income includes net income adjusted by, among other items, foreign currency translation adjustments. The translation losses/gains on the re-measurements from foreign currencies (primarily the Polish Zloty) to US dollars are classified separately as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income included in stockholders’ equity.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

As of December 31, 2008, the Polish zloty exchange rate used to translate the balance sheet weakened as compared to the exchange rate as of December 31, 2007, and as a result a loss to comprehensive income was recognized. Additionally, translation gains and losses with respect to long-term subordinated inter-company loans with the parent company are charged to other comprehensive income. No deferred tax benefit has been recorded on the comprehensive income in regard to the long-term inter-company transactions with the parent company, as the repayment of any equity investment is not anticipated in the foreseeable future.

Segment Reporting

The Company primarily operates in one industry segment, the production and sale of alcoholic beverages. As a result of the Company’s expansion into new geographic areas, namely Russia, the Company has implemented a segmental approach to the business based upon geographic locations.

Net Income per Common Share

Net income per common share is calculated in accordance with SFAS No. 128, “Earnings per Share”. Basic earnings per share (EPS) are computed by dividing income available to common shareholders by the weighted- average number of common shares outstanding for the year. The stock options and warrants discussed in Note 10 were included in the computation of diluted earnings per common share (Note 18).

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

In December 2007, the FASB issued SFAS No. 141-R, “Business Combinations”. This Statement applies prospectively to business combinations for which the acquisition date is on or after the beginning of the first annual reporting period beginning on or after December 15, 2008, which are business combinations in the year ending December 31, 2009 for the Company. The objective of this Statement is to improve the relevance, representational faithfulness, and comparability of the information that a reporting entity provides in its financial reports about a business combination and its effects.

In December 2007, the FASB issued SFAS No. 160, “Noncontrolling Interests in Consolidated Financial Statements” (SFAS 160), which the Company will adopt on January 1, 2009. SFAS 160 amends Accounting Research Bulletin No. 51, “Consolidated Financial Statements” (ARB 51) and establishes accounting and reporting standards for the noncontrolling interest in a subsidiary and for the accounting for future ownership changes with respect to those subsidiaries. The most significant impact of the standard, at adoption, will be to retrospectively reclassify our minority interests ($48 million at December 31, 2008) from a liability to a separate component of stockholders equity and to retrospectively reclassify income from minority interests from a component of net income to income attributable to the parent company ($10 million for the year ended December 31, 2008) which will be presented below net income. All other components of SFAS 160 will be applied prospectively.

In March 2008, the FASB issued SFAS No. 161, “Disclosures about Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities—An Amendment of SFAS No. 133”. SFAS 161 seeks to improve financial reporting for derivative instruments and hedging activities by requiring enhanced disclosures regarding the impact on financial position, financial performance, and cash flows. To achieve this increased transparency, SFAS 161 requires (1) the disclosure of the fair value of derivative instruments and gains and losses in a tabular format; (2) the disclosure of derivative features that are credit risk-related; and (3) cross-referencing within the footnotes. SFAS 161 is effective for us on January 1, 2009. We are in the process of evaluating the new disclosure requirements under SFAS 161.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

In May 2008, the FASB issued FSP APB 14-1, which impacts the accounting treatment for convertible debt instruments that allow for either mandatory or optional cash settlements. FSP APB 14-1 will impact the accounting associated with our $310.0 million senior convertible notes. This FSP will require us to recognize significant additional (non-cash) interest expense based on the market rate for similar debt instruments without the conversion feature. Furthermore, it requires recognizing interest expense in prior periods pursuant to the retrospective accounting treatment. FSP APB 14-1 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2008 (our fiscal 2009) and early adoption is not permitted. We are currently evaluating the impact on our financial statements of applying the provisions of FSP APB 14-1. Assuming applicable market rate, we would be required to record additional non-cash interest expense of approximately $3.7 million annually. On a retrospective basis we would be required to reflect additional non-cash interest of approximately $2.8 million for fiscal 2008.

2. Acquisitions

On March 11, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates entered into a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements with White Horse Intervest Limited, a British Virgin Islands Company, and certain of White Horse’s affiliates, relating to the Company’s acquisition from White Horse of 85% of the share capital of Copecresto Enterprises Limited, a Cypriot company, (“the Parliament Acquisition”). In connection with this acquisition, the Company paid a consideration of approximately $180 million in cash and 2.2 million shares of common stock. On May 2, 2008 the Company delivered the remaining 250,000 shares of the share consideration. There is still $15 million of the cash consideration that is deferred pending the consummation of certain reorganization transactions expected to be completed over the next 3-9 months.

On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates, entered into, and closed upon, a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements whereby the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests, in the Whitehall Group (“the Whitehall Acquisition”). The Whitehall Group is a leading importer of premium spirits and wines in Russia. The aggregate consideration paid by the Company was $200 million, paid in cash at the closing. In addition, on October 21, 2008 the Company issued to the Seller 843,524 shares of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

On February 24, 2009, the Company and the seller amended the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement governing the Whitehall acquisition to satisfy the Company’s obligations to the seller pursuant to a share price guarantee in the original Stock Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of this amendment, the Company paid to the seller $5,876,351 in cash, and issued to the seller 2,100,000 shares of its common stock, in settlement of a minimum share price guarantee by the Company. The Company is further obligated to make an additional cash payment of $2,000,000 on March 15, 2009. Deferred payments already due under the original Stock Purchase Agreement are to be paid with €8,050,411 due on June 15, 2009 and €8,303,630 due on September 15, 2009. In consideration for these payments, the Company received an additional 375 Class B shares of Whitehall, which represents an increase in the Company’s economic stake from 75% to 80%. Additionally, if, during the 210 day period immediately following the effectiveness of the registration statement the Company is obligated to file to register the shares of Company common stock obtained by the seller in this transaction, the seller sells any of the Company common stock it acquired in the transaction for an average sales price per share, weighted by volume, that is less than $12.03, per share, the Company must pay to the seller the excess, if any, of $12.03 over the volume weighted average sales price per share of the Company’s common stock on the day the sale took place, multiplied by the total number of shares sold. Finally, the Company may be obligated to make an additional cash payment to the seller, ranging from €0 to €1,500,000, based upon whether and to what extent the price of a share of the Company’s common stock exceeds $12.03 during that same 210 day period. If the Company must make any such payment, it will receive in return up to an additional 75 Class B shares, which represents up to an additional 1% economic stake of Whitehall, based on the sized of the payment.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

The Company has consolidated the Whitehall Group as a business combination as of May 23, 2008, on the basis that the Whitehall Group is a Variable Interest Entity and the Company has been assessed as being the primary beneficiary. Included within the Whitehall Group is a 50/50 joint venture with Möet Henessy. This joint venture is accounted for using the equity method and is recorded on the face of the balance sheet in investments with minority interest initially recorded at fair value on the face of the balance sheet. The current term of the joint venture is until June 2013 at which point the Whitehall Group will have the option to acquire the remaining shares of the entity.

On July 9, 2008, the Company completed its strategic investment in Russian Alcohol Group and (1) paid $181.5 million for approximately 47.5% of the common equity of a newly formed Cayman Islands company (“Cayco”) which indirectly acquired all of the outstanding equity of Russian Alcohol Group (the “Acquisition”), and (2) purchased $103.5 million in subordinated exchangeable loan notes (the “Notes”) issued by a subsidiary of Cayco and exchangeable into equity of Cayco. Pursuant to the shareholders’ agreement entered into in connection with this strategic investment, the Company has the right to purchase, and Cayco has the right to require the Company to purchase, all (but not less than all) of the outstanding capital stock of a majority-owned subsidiary of Cayco (“Cayco Sub”) held by Cayco, which in either case would give the Company indirect control over Russian Alcohol Group.

The Company’s right is exercisable during two 45-day periods, the first commencing on the later of (1) the date that the audited 2009 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub and (2) the date on which all earnout payments that are payable in connection with the Acquisition have been paid (the “2010 Period”), and the second commencing on the date that the audited 2010 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub (the “2011 Period”). The Company’s right may be extended after the end of the 2011 Period in a limited circumstance to a period commencing on the date that the audited 2011 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub (the “2012 Period”). If the Company exercises its right, Cayco will be obligated to exercise its drag-along rights under the shareholders agreement governing Cayco Sub to cause the transfer to the Company, on the same terms, the remaining capital stock of Cayco Sub not held by Cayco. Cayco’s right will be exercisable during the 2010 Period and the 2011 Period and will expire one day after the end of the 2011 Period, and will be extended if the Company’s right is extended to the 2012 Period.

The price the Company would be required to pay in the event either of these rights is exercised will be equal to the adjusted equity value of Russian Alcohol Group, determined based on EBITDA multiplied by the product of Cayco’s ownership percentage and 14.05, 13.14, or 12.80, depending on when the right is exercised, less the debt of Russian Alcohol Group plus certain adjustments for cash and working capital. That price, however, in the case of the Company’s right, is subject to a floor equal to the total original euro equivalent amount (based upon a exchange rate of 1.57) invested by the other party in Cayco multiplied by 2.05 in 2010 or 2.20 in 2009 and converted back to U.S. dollars at the spot rate at the time, depending on when the right is exercised (in either case less any dividends or distributions actually received). Russian Alcohol Group has approximately $200 million of net indebtedness in place that, following any exercise of the Company’s or Cayco’s rights described above, may be required to be refinanced or retired by the terms of the Company’s existing indebtedness. The Company’s management currently estimates that the amount the Company would be required to pay would be between $350 million and $650 million (payable in mid- 2010) if the above rights are exercised. This estimate is based on currently available information and management’s current views with respect to future events and the future financial performance of Russian Alcohol Group, as of the date hereof. These estimates, projections and views are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ from management’s current estimates, projections and views, including the effects of fluctuations in currency valuations between the U.S. dollar and the Russian ruble and U.S. dollar and Euro, and the risks and uncertainties identified in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

We are engaged in discussions with Lion Capital to restructure the current agreement regarding the buyout of the remaining 58% stake in the Russian Alcohol Group, the largest spirit producer in Russia. Although the discussions are not final, and remain subject to further legal, accounting and tax analysis, as well as board approval, we are in general agreement with Lion Capital on the main commercial objectives. We expect an agreement would include a fixed price for the remaining 58% interest in the Russian Alcohol Group that we do not own (including the conversion of our $103.5 million plus accrued interest of loan notes) at a valuation that is more reflective of current market conditions and the positive sales performance of the business. Our payments would be spread out over 5 years ending in the year 2013, with smaller payments for 2009 and 2013 and more equal payments from years 2010 to 2012, and we would agree to certain security arrangements to Lion. We would not take control over the Russian Alcohol Group until 2011, though we would receive significantly enhanced minority rights. We would expect to finance the transaction over the 5 years through a combination of cash, debt and equity. We cannot provide any assurances as to whether, or on what terms, we may reach an agreement to restructure our arrangements in respect of the Russian Alcohol Group.

The fair value of the net assets acquired in connection with the 2008 Parliament and Whitehall group acquisitions as of the acquisition date are:

 

      Parliament
Group
   Whitehall
Group
   Total
Acquisitions

ASSETS

        

Cash and cash equivalents

     2,862      3,240      6,102

Accounts receivable

     3,441      21,107      24,548

Inventory

     1,602      27,905      29,507

Deferred tax asset

     1,329      1,932      3,261

Other current assets

     6,043      17,633      23,676

Equipment

     18,821      2,054      20,875

Intangibles, including Trademarks

     144,835      6,150      150,985

Investments

     —        69,400      69,400
                    

Total Assets

   $ 178,933    $ 149,421    $ 328,354
                    

LIABILITIES

        

Trade payables

     4,587      19,370      23,957

Borrowings

     44      18,818      18,862

Other short term liabilities

     4,380      7,955      12,335

Deferred tax

     28,966      1,230      30,196
                    

Total Liabilities

   $ 37,977    $ 47,373    $ 85,350
                    

Minority interests

     5,550      24,838      30,388

Net identifiable assets and liabilities

     135,406      77,210      212,616

Goodwill on acquisition

     134,859      198,391      333,250

Consideration paid, satisfied in cash

     168,735      202,218      370,953

Consideration paid, satisfied in shares

     86,530      48,099      134,629

Deferred consideration

     15,000      25,284      40,284
                    

Cash (acquired)

   $ 2,862    $ 3,240    $ 6,102
                    

Net Cash Outflow

   $ 165,873    $ 198,978    $ 364,851

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

The goodwill arising out of the Parliament and Whitehall acquisitions is attributable to the immediate platform for expansion in Russia that they provide to the Company. The Company is in the process of completing its valuations and refining its purchase price adjustments for Whitehall, which is expected to be finalized by March 31, 2009. The primary areas of further review include finalizing fixed asset and intangible asset valuations. As such, the allocation of the purchase price is subject to further adjustments.

The Company has not presented pro-forma results of operations of the Company to give effect to these acquisitions as if the acquisitions had occurred on January 1, 2008 and 2007 because there are no pre-closing interim results from Parliament and Whitehall that are available on a basis similar to US GAAP. The companies were not required to prepare interim consolidated financial statements and as such have only statutory tax accounts available. The Company believes that the inclusion of this information would provide misleading information for the investor.

The Company is in the process of completing its valuations and calculation its purchase price adjustments related to the acquisition in Russian Alcohol Group, which are expected to be quantified by March 31, 2009.

3. Exchangable Convertible Notes

On July 9, 2008, the Company closed a strategic investment in the Russian Alcohol Group (“Russian Alcohol”) and in addition to the equity investment, CEDC purchased exchangeable notes from Lion/Rally Lux 3 (“Lion Lux”), a Luxembourg company and indirect subsidiary of a Cayman Islands company (“Cayco”) that served as the investment vehicle.

The Notes rank pari passu with the other unsecured obligations of Lion Lux. represent a direct and unsecured obligation of Lion Lux and are structurally subordinated to indebtedness of subsidiaries of Lion Lux, including Pasalba Limited (“Pasalba”), a company incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus that made the investment. The Notes have a principal amount of $103.5 million and accrue interest at a rate of 8.3% per annum, which interest may, at Lion Lux’s option, be paid in kind with additional Notes.

Lion Lux will be required to redeem the Notes at their principal amount, together with any accrued but unpaid interest, on the date that is ten years and six months after the closing of the investment (the “Maturity Date”). Upon a change in control of Cayco or its majority-owned subsidiary (“Cayco Sub”) that occurs when no Exchange Right (as defined below) has been exercised, the Company will be permitted to request that Lion Lux redeem any Notes in respect of which such Exchange Right has not been exercised, at their principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon. Furthermore, Lion Lux will be permitted to redeem any Note at any time after the expiration of the Company’s right to purchase all of the outstanding capital stock of Cayco Sub held by Cayco (the “Call Option”) under the Shareholders’ Agreement governing the investment, subject to the Exchange Right.

Each holder of Notes has the right to require Cayco to purchase its Notes in exchange for the issue by Cayco of additional shares of Cayco stock (the “Exchange Right”). Holders of Notes will be permitted to exercise the Exchange Right only one time during certain 45-day periods in each of 2010 (the “2010 Period”), 2011 (the “2011 Period”) and, if the Call Option is extended into 2012 pursuant to its terms, 2012 (the “2012 Period”); provided, that in the event the Call Option or Cayco’s right to require the Company to purchase all of the outstanding capital stock of Cayco Sub held by Cayco (the “Put Option”) is exercised during any such period, holders will be required to exercise the Exchange Right within 10 business days after notice of the exercise of the Call Option or Put Option. The Exchange Right may also be exercised in the event of an initial public offering. The Exchange Right will expire one day after the end of the 2012 Period.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

The number of additional shares of Cayco stock that will be issued in connection with any exercise of an Exchange Right will be calculated as a function of, among other things, the number of shares of Cayco stock then outstanding, the number of shares of Cayco Sub stock then outstanding, the number of shares of Cayco Sub stock then held by Cayco, the principal and accrued interest of the Notes pursuant to which the Exchange Right was exercised, and the equity value of Pasalba and its subsidiaries based on (1) if the Exchange Right is exercised during the 2010 Period, Pasalba’s and its subsidiaries’ 2009 EBITDA multiplied by 13.0, (2) if the Exchange Right is exercised during the 2011 Period, Pasalba’s and its subsidiaries’ 2010 EBITDA multiplied by 12.5, or (3) if the Exchange Right is exercised during the 2012 Period, Pasalba’s and its subsidiaries’ 2011 EBITDA multiplied by 12.0 and, in each such case, subject to further adjustment for debt, cash and working capital. The maximum percentage which such newly issued Cayco shares will represent in the share capital of Cayco, on a look-through basis, following their issue will be equal to that percentage of Cayco shares (being approximately 19%, 21% and 23% in respect of the 2010 Period, 2011 Period and 2012 Period, respectively) (the “Notional Shares”), which the Notional Shares would represent on the date of exchange if the relevant holder had not subscribed for the note but had instead subscribed for the Notional Shares on the date of the Exchangeable Note Instrument.

Lion Lux is prohibited from paying dividends or making other distributions to its shareholders without the consent of the holders of Notes representing two thirds in nominal value of the Notes outstanding, other than in connection with repayment of loan notes issued by the parent of Lion Lux to the sellers of RAG. In addition, the holders of Notes representing two thirds in nominal value of the Notes outstanding have certain approval rights relating to certain matters, including, but not limited to, (i) the incurring of any indebtedness by Lion Lux which is either senior to the Notes or secured, and (ii) any acquisition by Cayco or any subsidiary of Cayco with consideration payable in excess of $50 million. Holders of Notes are permitted to transfer Notes to any person, subject to certain exceptions and a right of first refusal which will be granted to an affiliate of Lion.

We are engaged in discussions with Lion Capital to restructure the current agreement regarding the buyout of the remaining 58% stake in the Russian Alcohol Group, the largest spirit producer in Russia. Although the discussions are not final, and remain subject to further legal, accounting and tax analysis, as well as board approval, we are in general agreement with Lion Capital on the main commercial objectives. We expect an agreement would include a fixed price for the remaining 58% interest in the Russian Alcohol Group that we do not own (including the conversion of our $103.5 million plus accrued interest of loan notes) at a valuation that is more reflective of current market conditions and the positive sales performance of the business. Our payments would be spread out over 5 years ending in the year 2013, with smaller payments for 2009 and 2013 and more equal payments from years 2010 to 2012, and we would agree to certain security arrangements to Lion. We would not take control over the Russian Alcohol Group until 2011, though we would receive significantly enhanced minority rights. We would expect to finance the transaction over the 5 years through a combination of cash, debt and equity. We cannot provide any assurances as to whether, or on what terms, we may reach an agreement to restructure our arrangements in respect of the Russian Alcohol Group.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

4. Trade Receivables and Allowances for Doubtful Accounts

Changes in the allowance for doubtful accounts during each of the three years in the period ended December 31, were as follows:

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  

Net trade receivables—excluding VAT

   $ 375,606     $ 283,241     $ 204,040  

VAT (sales tax)

     77,232       62,313       44,889  

Gross trade receivables

   $ 452,838     $ 345,554     $ 248,929  

Allowances for doubtful debts

      

Balance, beginning of year

   $ 29,277     $ 24,354     $ 22,851  

Effect of FX movement on opening balance

     (5,143 )     4,696       2,754  

Provision for bad debts—reported in income statement

     (748 )     (249 )     999  

Charge-offs, net of recoveries

     (1,814 )     476       (2,378 )

Change in allowance from purchase of subsidiaries

     583       —         128  
                        

Balance, end of year

   $ 22,155     $ 29,277     $ 24,354  
                        

Trade receivables, net

   $ 430,683     $ 316,277     $ 224,575  
                        

5. Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment, presented net of accumulated depreciation in the consolidated balance sheets, consists of:

 

     December 31,  
     2008     2007  

Land and buildings

   $ 43,992     $ 35,443  

Equipment

     59,119       56,780  

Motor vehicles

     18,782       20,985  

Motor vehicles under lease

     7,421       7,200  

Computer hardware and software

     20,447       16,817  
                

Total gross book value

     149,761       137,225  

Less—Accumulated depreciation

     (57,540 )     (57,246 )
                

Total

   $ 92,221     $ 79,979  
                

6. Goodwill

Goodwill, presented net of accumulated amortization in the consolidated balance sheets, consists of:

 

     December 31,
     2008     2007

Balance at January 1,

   $ 577,282     $ 398,005

Impact of foreign exchange

     (165,276 )     131,630

Additional purchase price adjustments

     —         —  

Acquisition through business combinations

     333,250       47,647
              

Balance at December 31,

   $ 745,256     $ 577,282

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

7. Intangible Assets other than Goodwill

The major components of intangible assets are:

 

     December 31,  
     2008     2007  

Non-amortizable intangible assets:

    

Trademarks

   $ 563,689     $ 543,123  

Total

     563,689       543,123  

Amortizable intangible assets:

    

Trademarks

   $ 5,568     $ 6,754  

Customer relationships

     7,749       1,913  

Less accumulated amortization

     (6,501 )     (6,093 )

Total

     6,816       2,574  
                

Total intangible assets

   $ 570,505     $ 545,697  
                

Management considers trademarks that are indefinite-lived assets to have high or market-leader brand recognition within their market segments based on the length of time they have existed, the comparatively high volumes sold and their general market positions relative to other products in their respective market segments. These trademarks include Soplica, Zubrówka, Absolwent, Royal, Parliament and the rights for Bols Vodka in Poland, Hungary and Russia. Taking the above into consideration, as well as the evidence provided by analyses of vodka products life cycles, market studies, competitive and environmental trends, management believes that these brands will generate cash flows for an indefinite period of time, and that the useful lives of these brands are indefinite. In accordance with SFAS 142, intangible assets with an indefinite life are not amortized but are reviewed at least annually for impairment.

Estimated aggregate future amortization expenses for intangible assets that have a definite life are as follows:

 

2009

   $ 1,343

2010

     1,343

2011

     1,274

2012

     1,180

2013 and above

     1,676
      

Total

   $ 6,816
      

8. Equity method investments in affiliates

We hold the following investments in unconsolidated affiliates:

 

                 Carrying Value
                 December 31,
     

Type of affiliate

   Effective Voting Interest             2008                    2007        

Moet Henessy JV

   Equity-Accounted Affiliate    37 %   $ 77,918    $ —  

Russian Alcohol Group

   Equity-Accounted Affiliate    42 %     111,325      —  
                  
      Total Carrying value     $ 189,243    $ —  
                  

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates, entered into, and closed upon, a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements whereby the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests, in the Whitehall Group (“the Whitehall Acquisition”). The Whitehall Group is a leading importer of premium spirits and wines in Russia. The aggregate consideration paid by the Company was $200 million, paid in cash at the closing. In addition, on October 21, 2008 the Company issued to the Seller 843,524 shares of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

On February 24, 2009, the Company and the seller amended the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement governing the Whitehall acquisition to satisfy the Company’s obligations to the seller pursuant to a share price guarantee in the original Stock Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of this amendment, the Company paid to the seller $5,876,351 in cash, and issued to the seller 2,100,000 shares of its common stock, in settlement of a minimum share price guarantee by the Company. The Company is further obligated to make an additional cash payment of $2,000,000 on March 15, 2009. Deferred payments already due under the original Stock Purchase Agreement are to be paid with €8,050,411 due on June 15, 2009 and €8,303,630 due on September 15, 2009. In consideration for these payments, the Company received an additional 375 Class B shares of Whitehall, which represents an increase in the Company’s economic stake from 75% to 80%. Additionally, if, during the 210 day period immediately following the effectiveness of the registration statement the Company is obligated to file to

register the shares of Company common stock obtained by the seller in this transaction, the seller sells any of the Company common stock it acquired in the transaction for an average sales price per share, weighted by volume, that is less than $12.03, per share, the Company must pay to the seller the excess, if any, of $12.03 over the volume weighted average sales price per share of the Company’s common stock on the day the sale took place, multiplied by the total number of shares sold. Finally, the Company may be obligated to make an additional cash payment to the seller, ranging from €0 to €1,500,000, based upon whether and to what extent the price of a share of the Company’s common stock exceeds $12.03 during that same 210 day period. If the Company must make any such payment, it will receive in return up to an additional 75 Class B shares, which represents up to an additional 1% economic stake of Whitehall, based on the sized of the payment.

The Company has consolidated the Whitehall Group as a business combination as of May 23, 2008, on the basis that the Whitehall Group is a Variable Interest Entity and the Company has been assessed as being the primary beneficiary. Included within the Whitehall Group is a 50/50 joint venture with Möet Henessy. This joint venture is accounted for using the equity method and is recorded on the face of the balance sheet in investments with minority interest initially recorded at fair value on the face of the balance sheet. The current term of the joint venture is until June 2013 at which point the Whitehall Group will have the option to acquire the remaining shares of the entity.

On July 9, 2008, the Company closed on its acquisition of approximately 47.5% of the common equity of a Cayman Islands company, referred to as Cayco, for approximately $181.5 million in cash, and purchased $103.5 million in subordinated exchangeable loan notes from a subsidiary of Cayco. Lion Capital LLP and certain of its affiliates and other financial investors own the remaining common equity of Cayco, which indirectly own approximately 88.4% of the outstanding equity of the Russian Alcohol Group. The Russian Alcohol Group, also referred to as “RAG,” is the leading vodka producer in Russia.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

The summarized financial information of investment in Russian Alcohol Group and Moet Hennessy Joint Venture consolidated under the equity method as of December 31, 2008 is as follows:

 

     Total
December 31,
2008
 

Current assets

   587,031  

Noncurrent assets

   483,567  

Current liabilities

   (299,111 )

Noncurrent liabilities

   (430,516 )
      
     Total
Year ended
December 31,
2008
 

Net sales

   659,686  

Gross profit

   200,475  

Income from continuing operations

   (24,740 )

Net income

   (24,740 )
      

9. Comprehensive income/(loss)

Comprehensive income/(loss) is defined as all changes in equity during a period except those resulting from investments by owners and distributions to owners. Comprehensive income/(loss) includes net income adjusted by, among other items, foreign currency translation adjustments. The foreign translation losses/gains on the re-measurements from foreign currencies to U.S. dollars are classified separately as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income included in stockholders’ equity.

As of December 31, 2008, the Polish Zloty exchange rate used to translate the balance sheet weakened by approximately 21.3% as compared to the exchange rate as of December 31, 2007, and as a result a comprehensive loss was recognized. Additionally, translation gains and losses with respect to long-term subordinated inter-company loans with the parent company are charged to other comprehensive income. No deferred tax benefit has been recorded on the comprehensive income/(loss) in regard to the long-term inter-company transactions with the parent company, as the repayment of any equity investment is not anticipated in the foreseeable future.

10. Accrued liabilities

The major components of accrued liabilities are:

 

     December 31,
   2008    2007

Operating accruals

   $ 69,391    $ 28,672

Hedge valuation

     6,736      27,520

Accrued interest

     4,143      15,767
             

Total

   $ 80,270    $ 71,959
             

The hedge valuation represents the mark to market valuation of the open fair value hedge as described further in Note 16. Accrued interest primarily represents interest on the Senior Secured Notes and Convertible Senior Notes as of December 31, 2008. As of December 31, 2008 accrued interest related to Senior Secured

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

Notes is presented together with Senior Secured Notes balance. In January 2009, the remaining portion of the IRS hedge related to the Senior Secured Notes was closed and written off with a net cash settlement of approximately $1.9 million.

11. Borrowings

Bank Facilities

As of December 31, 2008, $13.0 million remained available under the Company’s overdraft facilities. These overdraft facilities are renewed on an annual basis. As of December 31, 2008, the Company had utilized approximately $81.1 million of a multipurpose credit line agreement in connection with the 2007 tender offer in Poland to purchase the remaining outstanding shares of Polmos Bialystok S.A. The Company’s obligations under the credit line agreement are guaranteed through promissory notes by certain subsidiaries of the Company. The indebtedness under the credit line agreement matures on March 31, 2009, however a new credit agreement , with substantially the same terms and conditions as the existing credit facility, was signed on February 24, 2009 extending the facility to February 24, 2011. The Company also has received a firm bank commitment to roll over the short term working capital facility of approximately $28.9 million due March 31, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

On April 24, 2008, the Company signed a credit agreement with Bank Zachodni WBK SA in Poland to provide up to $50 million of financing to be used to finance a portion of the Parliament and Whitehall acquisition, as well as general working capital needs of the Company. The agreement provides for a $30 million five year amortizing term facility and a one year $20 million short term facility with annual renewal.

On July 2, 2008, the Company entered into a Facility Agreement with Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A., which provided for a term loan facility of $40 million. The term loan matures on July 4, 2011 and is guaranteed by CEDC, Carey Agri and certain other subsidiaries of the Company and is secured by all of the shares of capital stock of Carey Agri and subsequently will be further secured by shares of capital stock in certain other subsidiaries of CEDC.

Senior Secured Notes

In connection with the Bols and Polmos Bialystok acquisitions, on July 25, 2005 the Company completed the issuance of € 325 million 8% Senior Secured Notes due 2012 (the “Notes”). Interest is due semi-annually on the 25th of January and July, and the Notes are guaranteed on a senior basis by certain of the Company’s subsidiaries. The Indenture governing our Notes contains certain restrictive covenants, including covenants limiting the Company’s ability to: make certain payments, including dividends or other distributions, with respect to the share capital of the parent or its subsidiaries; incur or guarantee additional indebtedness or issue preferred stock; make certain investments; prepay or redeem subordinated debt or equity; create certain liens or enter into sale and leaseback transactions; engage in certain transactions with affiliates; sell assets or consolidate or merge with or into other companies; issue or sell share capital of certain subsidiaries; and enter into other lines of business.

During the twelve months ending December 31, 2008, the Company purchased and retired € 14.6 million of outstanding Senior Secured Notes back on the open market.

As of December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2007, the Company had accrued interest of $12.0 million and $15.8 million respectively related to the Senior Secured Notes, with the next coupon due for payment on January 25, 2009. As of December 31, 2008 accrued interest related to Senior Secured Notes is presented

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

together with Senior Secured Notes balance. Total obligations under the Senior Secured Notes are shown net of deferred finance costs, amortized over the life of the borrowings using the effective interest rate method and fair value adjustments from the application of hedge accounting as shown in the table below:

 

     December 31,  
   2008     2007  

Senior Secured Notes

   $ 357,934     $ 381,689  

Fair value bond mark to market

     (7,124 )     (28,204 )

Unamortized portion of closed hedges

     (553 )     (858 )

Unamortized issuance costs

     (5,223 )     (8,329 )
                

Total

   $ 345,034     $ 344,298  
                

Convertible Senior Notes

On March 7, 2008, the Company completed the issuance of $310 million aggregate principal amount of 3% Convertible Senior Notes due 2013 (the “Convertible Notes”). Interest is due semi-annually on the 15th of March and September, beginning on September 15, 2008. The Convertible Senior Notes are convertible in certain circumstances into cash and, if applicable, shares of our common stock, based on an initial conversion rate of 14.7113 shares per $1,000 principle amount, subject to certain adjustments. Upon conversion of the notes, the Company will deliver cash up to the aggregate principle amount of the notes to be converted and, at the election of the Company, cash and/or shares of common stock in respect to the remainder, if any, of the conversion obligation. The proceeds from the Convertible Notes were used to fund the cash portions of the acquisition of Copecresto Enterprises Limited and Whitehall.

As of December 31, 2008 the Company had accrued interest included in other accrued liabilities of $2.7 million related to the Convertible Senior Notes, with the next coupon due for payment on March 15, 2009. Total obligations under the Convertible Senior Notes are shown net of deferred finance costs, amortized over the life of the borrowings using the effective interest rate method as shown in the table below:

 

     December 31,
   2008     2007

Convertible Senior Notes

   $ 310,000     $ —  

Unamortized issuance costs

     (4,791 )     —  
              

Total

   $ 305,209     $ —  
              

Total borrowings as disclosed in the financial statements are:

 

     December 31,
   2008    2007

Short term bank loans and overdraft facilities for working capital

   $ 109,552    $ 42,785

Total short term bank loans and utilized overdraft facilities

     109,552      42,785

Long term bank loans for share tender

     81,081      122,952

Long term obligations under Senior Secured Notes

     345,034      344,298

Long term obligations under Convertible Senior Notes

     305,209      —  

Other total long term debt, less current maturities

     89,429      —  
             

Total debt

   $ 930,305    $ 510,035
             

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

     December 31,
2008

Principal repayments for the following years

  

2009

   $ 109,552

2010

     68,699

2011

     86,811

2012

     351,972

2013 and beyond

     319,000
      

Total

   $ 936,034
      

12. Income and Deferred Taxes

The Company operates in several tax jurisdictions primarily: the United States of America, Poland, Hungary and Russia. All subsidiaries file their own corporate tax returns as well as account for their own deferred tax assets and liabilities. The Company does not file a tax return in Delaware based upon its consolidated income, but does file a return in Delaware based on the income statement for transactions occurring in the United States of America.

The Company adopted the provisions of FASB Interpretation No. 48, “Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, an interpretation of FASB Statement 109”, effective January 1, 2007. Interpretation 48 prescribes a recognition threshold and a measurement attribute for the financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. Benefits from tax positions should be recognized in the financial statements only when it is more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained upon examination by the appropriate taxing authority that would have full knowledge of all relevant information. A tax position that meets the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold is measured at the largest amount of benefit that is greater than fifty percent likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. Tax positions that previously failed to meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold should be recognized in the first subsequent financial reporting period in which that threshold is met. Previously recognized tax positions that no longer meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold should be derecognized in the first subsequent financial reporting period in which that threshold is no longer met. Interpretation 48 also provides guidance on the accounting for and disclosure of unrecognized tax benefits, interest and penalties. Adoption of Interpretation 48 did not have a significant impact on the Corporation’s financial statements. The company is currently generating tax loss carry forwards in the United States at a 35% tax rate, which has the effect of reducing the overall effective tax rate below the 19% Polish statutory rate.

The Company files income tax returns in the U.S., Poland, Hungary, Russia, as well as in various other countries throughout the world in which we conduct our business. The major tax jurisdictions and their earliest fiscal years that are currently open for tax examinations are 2003 in the U.S., 2002 in Poland and Hungary and 2005 in Russia.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2008    2007     2006  

Tax at statutory rate

   $ 3,010    $ 17,875     $ 14,851  

Tax rate differences

     1,805      (740 )     (679 )

Valuation allowance for net operating losses

     4,290      2,401       —    

Permanent differences

     3,847      (3,626 )     (186 )
                       

Income tax expense

   $ 12,952    $ 15,910     $ 13,986  
                       

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

Total income tax payments during 2008, 2007 and 2006 were $33,919, $21,362 and $11,980 respectively. CEDC has paid no U.S. income taxes and has net operating U.S. loss carry-forward totaling $4,801.

Significant components of the Company’s deferred tax assets are as follows:

 

     December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  

Deferred tax assets

      

Accrued expenses, deferred income and prepaid, net

   $ 10,572     $ 10,567     $ 7,041  

Allowance for doubtful accounts receivable

     1,529       3,749       1,763  

Unrealized foreign exchange losses

     18,945       —         16  

Net operating loss carry-forward benefit, Expiring in 2010 – 2026 - gross

     18,755       10,059       7,968  

NOL’s valuation allowance

     (6,991 )     (2,401 )     —    
                        

Net deferred tax asset

   $ 42,810     $ 21,974     $ 16,788  
                        

Deferred tax liability

      

Trade marks

     106,486       100,113       68,275  

Unrealized foreign exchange gains

     3,585       5,069       6,777  

Timing differences in finance type leases

     7       60       274  

Investment credit

     201       297       818  

Deferred income

     616       —         278  

Other

     679       —         —    
                        

Net deferred tax liability

   $ 111,574     $ 105,539     $ 76,422  
                        

Total net deferred tax asset

     42,810       21,974       16,788  

Total net deferred tax liability

     111,574       105,539       76,422  

Total net deferred tax

     (68,764 )     (83,565 )     (59,634 )

Classified as

      

Current deferred tax asset

     24,386       5,141       5,336  

Non-current deferred tax asset

     12,886       11,407       3,305  

Non-current deferred tax liability

     (106,486 )     (100,113 )     (68,275 )
                        

Total net deferred tax

   ($ 68,764 )   ($ 83,565 )   ($ 59,634 )
                        

No deferred taxes have been recorded for the remaining undistributed earnings as the Company intends to permanently reinvest these earnings.

Tax losses can be carried forward for the following periods:

 

Hungary*

   Unrestricted period

U.S.

   20 years

Russia

   10 years

Poland

   5 years

 

* In some circumstances there is a need of Tax Office’s permission to carry the loss forward

Tax liabilities (including corporate income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), social security and other taxes) of the Company’s subsidiaries may be subject to examinations by the tax authorities for up to certain period from the end of the year the tax is payable, as follows:

 

Poland

   5 years

Hungary

   5 years

Russia

   3 years

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

CEDC’s U.S. federal income tax returns are also subject to examination by the U.S. tax authorities. As the application of tax laws and regulations, and transactions are susceptible to varying interpretations, amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements could be changed at a later date upon final determination by the tax authorities.

13. Stock Option Plans and Warrants

As of January 1, 2006, the Company adopted SFAS No. 123(R) “Share-Based Payment” requiring the recognition of compensation expense in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income related to the fair value of its employee share-based options. SFAS No. 123(R) revises SFAS No. 123 “Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation” and supersedes APB Opinion No. 25 “Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees”. SFAS No. 123(R) is supplemented by SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) No. 107 “Share-Based Payment”. SAB No. 107 expresses the SEC staff’s views regarding the interaction between SFAS No. 123(R) and certain SEC rules and regulations including the valuation of share-based payments arrangements.

The Company recognizes the cost of all employee stock options on a straight-line attribution basis over their respective vesting periods, net of estimated forfeitures. The Company has selected the modified prospective method of transition; accordingly, prior periods have not been restated.

SFAS No. 123(R) “Share-Based Payment” requires the recognition of compensation expense in the Consolidated Statements of Income related to the fair value of employee share-based options. Determining the fair value of share-based awards at the grant date requires judgment, including estimating the expected term that stock options will be outstanding prior to exercise, the associated volatility and the expected dividends. Judgment is also required in estimating the amount of share-based awards expected to be forfeited prior to vesting. If actual forfeitures differ significantly from these estimates, share-based compensation expense could be materially impacted. Prior to adopting SFAS No. 123(R), the Company applied Accounting Principles Board (“APB”) Opinion No. 25, and related Interpretations, in accounting for its stock-based compensation plans. All employee stock options were granted at or above the grant date market price. Accordingly, no compensation cost was recognized for fixed stock option grants in prior periods.

The Company’s 2007 Stock Incentive Plan (“Incentive Plan”) provides for the grant of stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock and restricted stock units to directors, executives, and other employees (“employees”) of the Company and to non-employee service providers of the Company. Following a shareholder resolution in April 2003 and the stock splits of May 2003, May 2004 and June 2006, the Incentive Plan authorizes, and the Company has reserved for future issuance, up to 1,397,333 shares of Common Stock (subject to an anti-dilution adjustment in the event of a stock split, re-capitalization, or similar transaction). The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company administers the Incentive Plan.

The option exercise price for stock options granted under the Incentive Plan may not be less than fair market value but in some cases may be in excess of the closing price of the Common Stock on the date of grant. The Company uses the stock option price based on the closing price of the Common Stock on the day before the date of grant if such price is not materially different than the opening price of the Common Stock on the day of the grant. Stock options may be exercised up to 10 years after the date of grant except as otherwise provided in the particular stock option agreement. Payment for the shares must be in cash, which must be received by the Company prior to any shares being issued. Stock options granted to directors and officers as part of an employee employment contract vest after 2 years. Stock options granted to general employees as part of a loyalty program vest after three years. The Incentive Plan was approved by CEDC shareholders during the annual shareholders meeting on April 30, 2007 to replace the Company’s 1997 Stock Incentive Plan (the “Old Stock Incentive Plan”), which expired in November 2007. The Stock Incentive Plan will expire in November 2017. The terms and conditions of the Stock Incentive Plan are substantially similar to those of the Old Stock Incentive Plan.

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

Before January 1, 2006 CEDC, the holding company, realized net operating losses and therefore an excess tax benefit (windfall) resulting from the exercise of the awards and a related credit to Additional Paid-in Capital (APIC) of $2.2 million was not recorded in the Company’s books. The excess tax benefits and the credit to APIC for the windfall should not be recorded until the deduction reduces income taxes payable on the basis that cash tax savings have not occurred. The Company will recognize the windfall upon realization.

A summary of the Company’s stock option and restricted stock units activity, and related information for the twelve month periods ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006 is as follows:

 

Total Options

   Number of
Options
    Weighted-
Average
Exercise Price
 

Outstanding at January 1, 2006

   889,550     $ 25.64  

Effect of Stock Split

   444,776     ($ 10.21 )

Granted

   303,000     $ 26.55  

Exercised

   (305,613 )   $ 15.61  

Forfeited

   (11,813 )   $ 21.32  
              

Outstanding at December 31, 2006

   1,319,900     $ 19.31  

Exercisable at December 31, 2006

   1,014,014     $ 18.78  

Outstanding at January 1, 2007

   1,319,900     $ 19.31  

Granted

   266,250     $ 30.84  

Exercised

   (272,475 )   $ 17.12  

Forfeited

   (60,638 )   $ 23.26  
              

Outstanding at December 31, 2007

   1,253,037     $ 22.02  

Exercisable at December 31, 2007

   964,849     $ 19.50  

Outstanding at January 1, 2008

   1,253,037     $ 22.02  

Granted

   234,375     $ 56.88  

Exercised

   (120,849 )   $ 15.60  

Forfeited

   (16,312 )   $ 21.83  
              

Outstanding at December 31, 2008

   1,350,252     $ 28.65  

Exercisable at December 31, 2008

   1,033,225     $ 22.19  

 

Nonvested restricted stock units

   Number of
Restricted
Stock Units
    Weighted-
Average Grant
Date Fair
Value

Nonvested at January 1, 2007

   —       $ —  

Granted

   37,930     $ 34.71

Vested

   —       $ —  

Forfeited

   (2,100 )   $ 34.51
            

Nonvested at December 31, 2007

   35,830     $ 34.73

Nonvested at January 1, 2008

   35,830     $ 34.73

Granted

   38,129     $ 66.52

Vested

   (600 )   $ 34.51

Forfeited

   (4,804 )   $ 48.75
            

Nonvested at December 31, 2008

   68,555     $ 51.42

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

Amounts in tables expressed in thousands, except per share information

 

During 2008, the range of exercise prices for outstanding options was $1.13 to $60.92. During 2008, the weighted average remaining contractual life of options outstanding was 5.5 years. Exercise prices for options exercisable as of December 31, 2008 ranged from $1.13 to $44.15. The Company has also granted 38,129 restricted stock units to its employees at an average price of $66.52.

The Company has issued stock options to employees under stock based compensation plans. Stock options are issued at the current market price, subject to a vesting period, which varies from one to three years. As of December 31, 2008, the Company has not changed the terms of any outstanding awards.

During the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, the Company recognized compensation cost of $3.85 million and a related deferred tax asset of $0.76 million.

As of December 31, 2008, there was $6.4 million of total unrecognized compensation cost related to non-vested stock options and restricted stock units granted under the Plan. The costs are expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 19 months through 2009-2011.

Total cash received from exercise of options during the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 amounted to $1.9 million.

For the twelve month period ended December 31, 2008, the compensation expense related to all options was calculated based on the fair value of each option grant using the binomial distribution model. The Company has never paid cash dividends and does not currently have plans to pay cash dividends, and thus has assumed a 0% dividend yield. Expected volatilities are based on average of implied and historical volatility projected over the remaining term of the options. The expected life of stock options is estimated based on historical data on exercise of stock options, post-vesting forfeitures and other factors to estimate the expected term of the stock options granted. The risk-free interest rates are derived from the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect on the date of grant for instruments with a remaining term similar to the expected life of the options. In addition, the Company applies an expected forfeiture rate when amortizing stock-based compensation expenses. The estimate of the forfeiture rates is based primarily upon historical experience of employee turnover. As individual grant awards become fully vested, stock-based compensation expense is adjusted to recognize actual forfeitures. The following weighted-average assumptions were used in the calculation of fair value:

 

     2008    2007

Fair Value

   $18.16    $10.03

Dividend Yield

   0%    0%

Expected Volatility

   34.1% - 38.5%    30.5 - 38.4%

Weighted Average Volatility

   37.5%    37.1%

Risk Free Interest Rate

   1.5% - 3.2%    4.7 - 5.1%

Expected Life of Options from Grant

   3.2    3.2

14. Commitments and Contingent Liabilities

The Company is involved in litigation from time to time and has claims against it in connection with matters arising in the ordinary course of business. In the opinion of management, the outcome of these proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s operations.

As part of the Share Purchase Agreement related to the October 2005 Polmos Bialystok Acquisition, the Company is required to ensure that Polmos Bialystok will make investments of at least 77.5 million Polish Zloty during the five years after the acquisition was consummated. As of December 31, 2008, the Company had invested 62.1 million Polish Zloty (approximately $21.0 million) in Polmos Bialystok.

 

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Pursuant to the shareholders’ agreement governing the Company’s investment in Copecresto Enterprises Limited, the Company has the right to purchase all (but not less than all) of the shares of Copecresto capital stock held by the other shareholder. The other shareholder has the right to require the Company to purchase any or all of the shares of Copecresto capital stock held by such other shareholder; provided, that such other shareholder may not exercise this right other than in respect of all of the shares of Copecresto capital stock it holds if the amount of Copecresto capital stock subject to such exercise is less than 1% of the total outstanding capital stock of Copecresto.

The Company’s right may be exercised beginning on March 13, 2015 and will terminate on the earliest to occur of (1) the delivery of a notice of default under the shareholders’ agreement, (2) the delivery of a notice of the other shareholder’s exercise of its right in respect of all of the Copecresto capital stock held by such shareholder and (3) the date that is ten years after the date of completion of certain reorganization transactions relating to Copecresto. The other shareholder’s right may be exercised beginning on March 13, 2011 and will terminate on the earliest to occur of (A) the delivery of a notice of default under the shareholders’ agreement, (B) the Company’s exercise of its right and (C) the date that is ten years after the date of completion of certain reorganization transactions relating to Copecresto. The other shareholder also may exercise its right one or more times within the three months following any change in control of the Company or of Bols Sp. z o.o., a subsidiary of the Company.

The aggregate price that the Company would be required to pay in the event either of these rights is exercised will be equal to the product of (x) a fraction, the numerator of which is the total number of shares of capital stock of Copecresto covered by the exercise of the right, and the denominator of which is the total number of shares of capital stock of Copecresto then outstanding, multiplied by (y) the EBITDA of Copecresto from the year immediately preceding the year in which the right is exercised, multiplied by (z) 12, if the right is exercised in 2010 or before, 11, if the right is exercised in 2011, or 10, if the right is exercised in 2012 or later; provided, that in no event will the product of (y) and (z), above, be less than $300,000,000.

On May 23, 2008, the Company and certain of its affiliates, entered into, and closed upon, a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement and certain other agreements whereby the Company acquired shares representing 50% minus one vote of the voting power, and 75% of the economic interests, in the Whitehall Group (“the Whitehall Acquisition”). The Whitehall Group is a leading importer of premium spirits and wines in Russia. The aggregate consideration paid by the Company was $200 million, paid in cash at the closing. In addition, on October 21, 2008 the Company issued to the Seller 843,524 shares of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

On February 24, 2009, the Company and the seller amended the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement governing the Whitehall acquisition to satisfy the Company’s obligations to the seller pursuant to a share price guarantee in the original Stock Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of this amendment, the Company paid to the seller $5,876,351 in cash, and issued to the seller 2,100,000 shares of its common stock, in settlement of a minimum share price guarantee by the Company. The Company is further obligated to make an additional cash payment of $2,000,000 on March 15, 2009. Deferred payments already due under the original Stock Purchase Agreement are to be paid with €8,050,411 due on June 15, 2009 and €8,303,630 due on September 15, 2009. In consideration for these payments, the Company received an additional 375 Class B shares of Whitehall, which represents an increase in the Company’s economic stake from 75% to 80%. Additionally, if, during the 210 day period immediately following the effectiveness of the registration statement the Company is obligated to file to register the shares of Company common stock obtained by the seller in this transaction, the seller sells any of the Company common stock it acquired in the transaction for an average sales price per share, weighted by volume, that is less than $12.03, per share, the Company must pay to the seller the excess, if any, of $12.03 over the

 

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volume weighted average sales price per share of the Company’s common stock on the day the sale took place, multiplied by the total number of shares sold. Finally, the Company may be obligated to make an additional cash payment to the seller, ranging from €0 to €1,500,000, based upon whether and to what extent the price of a share of the Company’s common stock exceeds $12.03 during that same 210 day period. If the Company must make any such payment, it will receive in return up to an additional 75 Class B shares, which represents up to an additional 1% economic stake of Whitehall, based on the sized of the payment.

As part of the Whitehall Acquisition, the Company entered into a shareholders’ agreement with the other shareholder pursuant to which the Company has the right to purchase, and the other shareholder has the right to require the Company to purchase, all (but not less than all) of the shares of Whitehall capital stock held by such shareholder. Either of these rights may be exercised at any time, subject, in certain circumstances, to the consent of third parties. The aggregate price that the Company would be required to pay in the event either of these rights is exercised will fall within a range, determined based on Whitehall’s EBIT as well as the EBIT of certain related businesses, during two separate periods: (1) the period from January 1, 2008 through the end of the year in which the right is exercised, and (2) the two full financial years immediately preceding the end of the year in which the right is exercised, plus, in each case, the time-adjusted value of any dividends paid by Whitehall. Subject to certain limited exceptions, the exercise price will be (A) no less than the future value as of the date of exercise of $32.0 million, and (B) no more than the future value as of the date of exercise of $89.0 million, plus, in each case, the time-adjusted value of any dividends paid by Whitehall.

On July 9, 2008, the Company completed its strategic investment in Russian Alcohol Group and (1) paid $181.5 million for approximately 47.5% of the common equity of a newly formed Cayman Islands company (“Cayco”) which indirectly acquired all of the outstanding equity of Russian Alcohol Group (the “Acquisition”), and (2) purchased $103.5 million in subordinated exchangeable loan notes (the “Notes”) issued by a subsidiary of Cayco and exchangeable into equity of Cayco. Pursuant to the shareholders’ agreement entered into in connection with this strategic investment, the Company has the right to purchase, and Cayco has the right to require the Company to purchase, all (but not less than all) of the outstanding capital stock of a majority-owned subsidiary of Cayco (“Cayco Sub”) held by Cayco, which in either case would give the Company indirect control over Russian Alcohol Group.

The Company’s right is exercisable during two 45-day periods, the first commencing on the later of (1) the date that the audited 2009 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub and (2) the date on which all earnout payments that are payable in connection with the Acquisition have been paid (the “2010 Period”), and the second commencing on the date that the audited 2010 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub (the “2011 Period”). The Company’s right may be extended after the end of the 2011 Period in a limited circumstance to a period commencing on the date that the audited 2011 Operating Group accounts are approved by Cayco Sub (the “2012 Period”). If the Company exercises its right, Cayco will be obligated to exercise its drag-along rights under the shareholders agreement governing Cayco Sub to cause the transfer to the Company, on the same terms, the remaining capital stock of Cayco Sub not held by Cayco. Cayco’s right will be exercisable during the 2010 Period and the 2011 Period and will expire one day after the end of the 2011 Period, and will be extended if the Company’s right is extended to the 2012 Period.

The price the Company would be required to pay in the event either of these rights is exercised will be equal to the adjusted equity value of Russian Alcohol Group, determined based on EBITDA multiplied by the product of Cayco’s ownership percentage and 14.05, 13.14, or 12.80, depending on when the right is exercised, less the debt of Russian Alcohol Group plus certain adjustments for cash and working capital. That price, however, in the case of the Company’s right, is subject to a floor equal to the total original euro equivalent amount (based upon a exchange rate of 1.57) invested by the other party in Cayco multiplied by 2.05 in 2010 or 2.20 in 2009 and

 

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converted back to U.S. dollars at the spot rate at the time, depending on when the right is exercised (in either case less any dividends or distributions actually received). Russian Alcohol Group has approximately $200 million of net indebtedness in place that, following any exercise of the Company’s or Cayco’s rights described above, may be required to be refinanced or retired by the terms of our other indebtedness. The Company’s management currently estimates that the amount the Company would be required to pay would be between $350 million and $650 million (payable in mid- 2010) if the above rights are exercised. This estimate is based on currently available information and management’s current views with respect to future events and the future financial performance of Russian Alcohol Group, as of the date hereof. These estimates, projections and views are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from management’s current estimates, projections and views, including the effects of fluctuations in currency valuations between the U.S. dollar and the Russian ruble, and the risks and uncertainties identified in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We are engaged in discussions with Lion Capital to restructure the current agreement regarding the buyout of the remaining 58% stake in the Russian Alcohol Group, the largest spirit producer in Russia. Although the discussions are not final, and remain subject to further legal, accounting and tax analysis, as well as board approval, we are in general agreement with Lion Capital on the main commercial objectives. We expect an agreement would include a fixed price for the remaining 58% interest in the Russian Alcohol Group that we do not own (including the conversion of our $103.5 million plus accrued interest of loan notes) at a valuation that is more reflective of current market conditions and the positive sales performance of the business. Our payments would be spread out over 5 years ending in the year 2013, with smaller payments for 2009 and 2013 and more equal payments from years 2010 to 2012, and we would agree to certain security arrangements to Lion. We would not take control over the Russian Alcohol Group until 2011, though we would receive significantly enhanced minority rights. We would expect to finance the transaction over the 5 years through a combination of cash, debt and equity. We cannot provide any assurances as to whether, or on what terms, we may reach an agreement to restructure our arrangements in respect of the Russian Alcohol Group.

In the event that the Company is required to refinance or retire the indebtedness described above, and/or acquires the capital stock of Copecresto, Whitehall or the majority-owned subsidiary of Cayco, such transactions would be financed through additional sources of debt or equity funding. We cannot provide assurances as to whether or on what terms such funding would be available.

Operating Leases and Rent Commitments

The Company makes rental payments for real estate, vehicles, office, computer, and manufacturing equipment under operating leases. The following is a schedule by years of the future rental payments under the non-cancelable operating lease as of December 31, 2008:

 

2009

   $ 4,631

2010

     4,688

2011

     3,750

2012

     2,933

Thereafter

     2,783
      

Total

   $ 18,785
      

 

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During the fourth quarter of 2008, the Company continued its policy of renewing its transportation fleet by way of capital leases. The future minimum lease payments for the assets under capital lease as of December 31, 2008 are as follows:

 

2009

   $ 2,385  

2010

     2,194  

2011

     —    
        

Gross payments due

   $ 4,579  

Less interest

     (366 )
        

Net payments due

   $ 4,213  
        

Supply contracts

The Company has various agreements covering its sources of supply, which, in some cases, may be terminated by either party on relatively short notice. Thus, there is a risk that a portion of the Company’s supply of products could be curtailed at any time.

15. Stockholders Equity

On June 25, 2008, the Company completed a public offering of 3,250,000 shares of common stock, at an offering price to the public of $68.00 per share. In addition, pursuant to the terms of the offering the underwriters exercised their over-allotment option for an additional 325,000 shares. The net proceeds from the offering, including the sale of shares in accordance with the over-allotment option, was $233.8 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. The majority of the proceeds of the equity offering were used to fund a portion of the Company’s investment in the Russian Alcohol Group.

16. Interest income / (expense)

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 and 2007 respectively, the following items are included in Interest income / (expense):

 

     Twelve months ended
December 31,
 
     2008     2007  

Interest income

   $ 10,226     $ 5,463  

Interest expense

     (60,586 )     (41,292 )
                

Total interest (expense), net

   ($ 50,360 )   ($ 35,829 )

 

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17. Other financial income / (expense)

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 and 2007, the following items are included in Other financial income / (expense):

 

     Twelve months ended
December 31,
 
     2008     2007  

Foreign exchange impact related to acquisition financing

   ($ 165,294 )   $ 23,940  

Foreign exchange impact related to Long term Notes receivable

     34,328       —    

Cost of bank guarantee for tender

     —         (349 )

Premium for early debt retirement

     —         (6,940 )

Write-off of hedge associated with retired debt

     (305 )     (2,757 )

Write-off of financing costs associated with retired debt

     (851 )     (2,167 )

Other gains / (losses)

     (814 )     1,867  
                

Total other financial income / (expense), net

   ($ 132,936 )   $ 13,594  
     (132,936 )     13,594  
     ($1 )     $0  

18. Earnings per share

The following table sets forth the computation of basic and diluted earnings per share for the periods indicated.

 

     Year ended December 31,
     2008     2007    2006

Basic:

       

Net income

   ($ 16,591 )   $ 77,102    $ 55,450
                     

Weighted average shares of common stock outstanding

     44,088       39,871      35,799

Basic earnings per share

   ($ 0.38 )   $ 1.93    $ 1.55
                     

Diluted:

       

Net income

   ($ 16,591 )   $ 77,102    $ 55,450
                     

Weighted average shares of common stock outstanding

     44,088       39,871      35,799

Net effect of dilutive employee stock options based on the treasury stock method

     —         540      338

Totals

     44,088