Koskenkorva is still distilled in a small village in the northern Finnish countryside. Produced since 1953, the vodka was Finland’s best-selling spirit for decades and still retains an iconic status.

The vodka is now sold in almost 30 countries and, in the USA, Altia continues to build up its distributor network and marketing efforts with partner Infinium Spirits. In the Nordic and Baltic regions, Altia relies on a wider variety of beverages.

Its portfolio includes brands such as Xante liqueur and Chill Out wines, as well as Renault and Larsen cognacs. Tennila says that among spirits, growth is led by gin and whisky and in wines, sparkling is the fastest growing.

Altia is currently fully government owned and intends to sell shares this month on the main list of the Helsinki stock exchange. The listing will consist of an initial public offering as well as a sale of shares held by the state, which intends to hold on to a 34% stake.

Proceeds will be used for expansion, both organically and through acquisitions, according to Tennila.

The state recently rejected takeover offers for the company, saying it wants to let ‘ordinary Finns’ buy a piece of the distiller.