The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court has dismissed an appeal of Viking Malt, leading malthouse in the Baltic Rim, to take over Lithuanian malting company Maltosa. Maltosa, a subsidiary of UAB Siaures vilkas, and controlled by Lithuanian self-made millionaire Vilius Kaikaris, was founded in 2001 in Švenčionėliai, 90 km north-east of the country’s capital Vilnius. The company has a yearly malting capacity of 35,000 ton and produces standard Pilsen malts for customers in Lithuania, Latvian, Estonia, Moldova, and Poland.
The planned takeover was announced in May 2015. In October 2015, Lithuania’s competition watchdog refused to sanction the deal saying that the deal would undermine the competition on the Pilsen malt market and possibly drive beer prices higher.
In May 2016, a Vilnius court rejected a complaint filed by Viking Malt. "We probably stand a few chances of changing the opinion. If we won in the 2nd instance (a court of higher instance), it would mean that everything is going to the starting point – we would have to apply again and have no guarantees that the Competition Council gives a positive answer," Darius Vilkas, site manager and sales manager of Viking’s Lithuanian operation told the local press.
With the new decision of Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court, the Maltosa file has now been finally closed and shelved.
Viking Malt dates back to 1883, when Oy Lahden Polttimo was founded in Lahti, Finland. The company began to internationalize in the 1970s through corporate partnerships. Nord-Malt was established in Söderhamn, Sweden, alongside Svenska Malt AB in Halmstad. Litmalt in Lithuania joined the company in 1997.
In 2016 Viking Malt joined forces with Danish Malting Group (DMG), largest malting house in Denmark and formerly owned by Danish Carlsberg Group. The deal also brought ownership in Poland’s oldest DMG maltings in Strzegom from 1897 and the DMG Polska maltings in Sierpc, which was erected in 1975.
The new Viking Malt is today the biggest malting house in the Baltic Rim area with six sites in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania and Poland and 5th largest in Europe with a yearly malting capacity close to 600,000 tons.
As of 1.9.2017, Kasper Madsen was appointed new CEO of Viking Malt, succeeding current Managing Director Antti Orkola, who will continue to serve as a senior advisor for Viking Group until his retirement at the end of January 2018 (inside.beer, 28.8.2017). In May 2013, Pär-Gustaf Relander, son of patriarch Harald Relander representing the fifth generation of the family, took over as owner and Chairman of the Board of the company.