Russian vodka maker buys big stake in Central European

A Russian vodka company has acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Mount Laurel-based Central European Distribution, one of the biggest vodka producers in Poland, according to Reuters.

Russian Standard Vodka acquired 7.2 million shares between Nov. 15 and 21, paying a total of $25.4 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

That makes the second major ownership stake acquired by an outsider in recent months. Investor Mark Kaufman reported a 9.6 percent stake in the financially ailing Central European.

The company reported a net loss of $840 million, or $11.50 per share, on net sales of $228.9 million for the three months ended Sept. 30. (The big loss was largely due to a $675 million impairment charge.)

In other news involving local companies, Endo Pharmaceuticals' generic unit Qualitest said that the Food and Drug Administration approved its versions of various dosages of Myzilra tablets, an oral contraceptive. Total sales for that contraceptive over the 12 months ended Sept. 30 were $34.4M, according to prescription-counter IMS Health.

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