Finnish state booze maker Altia to merge with Norway's Arcus

If the merger is finalised, the Finnish state will be the second-largest shareholder in the new company.

Altia's best known products in Finland include the grain spirit Koskenkorva and the cut brandy drink Jaloviina. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Finland's state-owned alcoholic beverage firm Altia has agreed to a merger with Norwegian drinks company Arcus, creating the Anora Group, the firms announced on Tuesday.

Altia, which chiefly manufactures and markets spirits will hold 53.5 percent of Anora shares, according to an Altia press release.

Meanwhile, the Finnish state will become the second-largest shareholder in the new company, holding 19.4 percent of the firm.

If the arrangement goes ahead on schedule, the merger will take place during the first half of next year, according to the companies.

Altia's board chair, Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae, said Anora Group would be headquartered in Helsinki.

"Together, these two innovative companies are taking an important step to become the Nordic wine and spirits brand house with excellent potential for growth also outside the Nordics,” Suvanto-Harsaae said.