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“We continue to look at various M&A transactions”, Jekaterina Stuge, CEO, Amber Beverage Group

The Amber Beverage Group, Riga, Latvia, has grown significantly in recent years, partly through acquisitions. The company is issuing a 4-year bond with a volume of up to EUR 30 million, secured among other things by pledges on real estate. The company plans to use the funds for the construction of our own fully automated high-bay warehouse in the free port of Riga. The coupon rate is 7-8% +3M Euribor. As the company see interest in the bond also from professional investors in Germany, Amber is in discussions with advisors if they can also dual list the bonds on Frankfurt alternative market.

BOND MAGAZINE: How was 2022 for your company?

Stuge: Amber Beverage Group is expanding quickly, and our priority is making sure that our core brands are available across the globe. Overall, Amber Beverage Group had a tremendously good year in 2022; we even exceeded expectations by generating an EBITDA of EUR 42 million. Of course, there were challenges last year as, due to the war in Ukraine, the supply chains had to be restructured for both the production and wholesale sectors. For the continuity of the production process, we replaced the raw materials with products from the European Union in the first half of 2022. Like everyone, we are facing the rise in raw materials prices. 2022 was the year of optimization of internal processes in both our production and distribution companies. After carefully creating a development strategy, we have entered the year 2023 with high enthusiasm.

BOND MAGAZINE: The gin market has been growing significantly for years. In which segments do you see growth?

Stuge: Like the gin craze a decade or so ago, now the proliferation of well-made agave spirits appeals to consumers looking for something new and delicious. There is still a big education job to be done in demonstrating that well-made tequilas are created in Mexico using 100% Blue Weber Agave but people are beginning to understand – and taste – the difference between premium spirits such as KAH Tequila and Rooster Rojo Tequila compared with the mixto tequilas. Tequila has always been strong in the USA, but we now find that the UK, South Africa, Spain, and Australia are embracing the trend. We are responding to the popularity of the tequila sector in two ways. Firstly, we have launched two smoked enhanced tequilas – Rooster Rojo Ahumado and Rooster Rojo Smoked Pineapple. Additionally, we expanded our KAH Tequila range by launching an aged tequila expression in two formats: KAH Extra Añejo and KAH Huichol, a luxury packaging format. Secondly, we have continued investing in buying agave fields in Mexico, enabling us to control production from field to bottle. Currently we have more than 400 hectares of agave fields, and 2022 was the first year when we start using part of this superior material in our production process.

Another rapidly growing category is Irish whiskey, and we are excited that in November 2021, we decided to enter the high-growth Irish whiskey category by acquiring two excellent brands – The Irishman and Writers’ Tears. At the time of acquisition, Walsh Whiskey was the largest independent producer of super-premium Irish whiskey with two world-revered brands, both of which are sold in 50+ countries globally and have experienced compound annual growth rate of +21.2% (12 years to 2019) in combined 9lcs sales. Irish whiskey is positioned in the premium price category in most export markets and has benefited from global premiumisation trends. By adding both brands to our portfolio and by using our own-route-to-market channel for boosting sales, we are focusing on the USA, which continues to be the key market for Irish whiskey exports, representing 57% of the total export value.

BOND MAGAZINE: You want to continue to grow through acquisitions. Which regions or segments would be suitable for this?

Stuge: Our slogan states that our goals are truly ambitious: "Ambitious Minds Bring Excellent Results." We have created a development strategy for the whole Group called Sirius25. Like Sirius – the brightest star in the night sky –, we are also striving for distant but vivid goals.

We continue to look at various M&A transactions and extensive development projects. We are mostly interested in growing categories of beverages according to our specialisation in the market. As we have attained our plans for strengthening our distribution business, we are now looking for additional opportunities for brands of drinks such as whiskey, rum, and other brown spirits. We are more interested in acquiring brands with stable growth trends and existing volumes not less than 50k 9lcs. Our strategy defines a very clear growth path. We are working to become a global organization with majority of revenue generated by the global footprint of our brands. We are changing the organization’s focus to value generation based on ABG brands. We are in the process of creating a sustainable value chain with the aim of improving see-through margin and becoming independent in the long term. We are also re-engineering business processes to achieve strong revenue management, excellent execution of sales standards consistent across the Group, efficient production and logistics processes through automation, and optimised utilization of capacity.

BOND MAGAZINE: Does the higher interest rate level influence your M&A activities?

Stuge: While assessing potential long-term investments, we carefully review these from business and cash-flow model perspectives, and therefore yes, the higher interest rates have a direct impact on assumptions and decisions. We are now much more careful with target selection. At the same time, we also look for future synergies from adding a brand into our portfolio or business into our Group, therefore it is not only about existing performance but how the combined structure could add value.

BOND MAGAZINE: How do you plan to use the money from the bond issue?

Stuge: We have elected to emit the secured bonds by real estate pledge. We plan to use these funds to build our own fully-automated high-bay warehouse in Riga, Latvia. It is very important for us to ensure efficient stock management for our partners and to maintain the speed of development of investment projects which are characteristic of our Group. The total height of the warehouse will reach 24 metres, where pallets will be stacked on shelves across nine levels. The high-bay area of the automated warehouse will not require the presence of employees and almost all processes will be undertaken by automation. Due to its size, complexity, and level of automation, this project is significant, not only at the Baltic level but also throughout Europe. We will install modern pallet and small goods stacking cranes, pallet and small goods conveyors, Pick-By-Light and Put-By-Light automatic picking systems, automated guided vehicles, and these will be connected via a powerful warehouse management system.

BOND MAGAZINE: Where can investors trade the bond?

Stuge: During the subscription phase, bonds will be offered as a private placement so that they won’t be available to the general public. We intend to list bonds on the Regulated Market on Nasdaq Baltic within six months after the issue date, where bonds will be traded on the secondary market. As we see an interest in our bonds also from professional investors in Germany, we are in discussions with advisors if we can also dual list the bonds on Frankfurt alternative market.

BOND MAGAZINE: Are you planning further steps on the capital market? Is an IPO an issue for you in the medium term?

Stuge: Currently we are reviewing various options to fund our future growth, and this is the subject of internal discussion. First, we want to see the results and how our ambitions fit together with market evaluation of our performance.

The interview was conducted by Christian Schiffmacher, https://www.fixed-income.org/
Photo: Jekaterina Stuge © Amber Beverage Group

Amber Beverage Group – Financial highlights


FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022









Net profit




Equity ratio








EBITDA interest coverage




Figures in EUR m, source: Amber Beverage Group, Signet Bank

Amber Beverage Group – Term Sheet


Amber Beverage Group Holding S.à.r.l., Luxembourg


Senior secured

Coupon rate

7-8% + 3M Euribor

Issue size

EUR 30.0 million


4 years

Corporate guarantee

Amber Latvijas balzams AS (anchor tenant)


1st rank of mortgage of the land plot in Free port of Riga with a total area of 9.8 ha (value EUR 4.1 m)

Commercial pledge on assets and shares of ABG Real Estate SIA (project SPV), which include:
- Warehouse equipment by Jungheinrich (EUR 15 m)
- Warehosue construction in process

Nominal value

EUR 1,000

Minimum subscription

EUR 100,000


Nasdaq Baltic Regulated Market within 6 months after the issue date


Signet Bank AS, Riga



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JES.GREN 14.03.2023-13.03.2024, 21.03.-16.05.2023 über Econeers, 02.05.-15.05.2023 über Börse 7,00% Open Market
Amber Beverage Group aktuell (Private Placement) 7,50% +3M Euribor Nasdaq Baltic

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