If you get a little queasy when faced with "growth through acquisition" stories, you'd best stock up on Pepto-Bismol before you dig into Central European Distribution
CEDC announced another deal with Remy Cointreau, this time purchasing Bols Hungary. Financial terms weren't discussed, but the company said the deal will be accretive and financed from existing resources. That suggests the purchase price can't be too high, since CEDC had about $70 million in cash on the balance sheet at the last quarter.
Bols Hungary is certainly a type of business that CEDC understands. Not only does it control Royal Vodka, the country's No. 1 vodka brand, but it also imports brands like Remy Cointreau and Jagermeister into Hungary.
For CEDC, the deal also represents an important expansion beyond the borders of Poland. It's a large, growing, and improving country, but I'm not sure how much more growth CEDC can really squeeze out of this market. After all, CEDC shares fell recently because of problems getting anti-monopoly clearance on a deal. While I wouldn't rush to conclusions based upon a single bureaucratic event, it does at least raise the possibility that CEDC is approaching the boundaries of growth through acquisition in Poland.
Luckily, the liquor business travels well. Despite local and regional variances in laws, customs, and tastes, booze is a pretty reliable business in almost every non-Muslim country (and a few Muslim countries as well). Rivals Constellation Brands
This recent swoon in both CEDC and the broader markets has reinforced a lesson I sometimes overlook: As nice as it may be to be fully invested, there's a lot to be said for always keeping a little cash on hand. I should have jumped on these shares at $32, but I didn't want to sell a stock to do so. And while CEDC's stock has since risen to a level that puts it slightly ahead of my ideal margin of safety, it still merits real consideration.
Drink up with further Foolishness:
- A Toast to Jack Daniel's
- Not Ready to Belly Up to CEDC
- Is Constellation a Shooting Star?
- 4 Steps to Premium Dividends
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson but has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).