Saturday 22 October 2016

Diageo completes sale of US and UK wine interests for $552m

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 04/01/2016 | 07:41

A worker walks past the headquarters of Diageo in London.
A worker walks past the headquarters of Diageo in London.

Irish-listed drinks company Diageo announced this morning that it has completed the sale of its major wine interests in the US and the UK to Australian vintner Treasury Wine Estates.

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The Guinness-maker, which is based in the UK, announced in October that it had agreed to sell US-based Chateau and Estate Wines and the UK-based Percy Fox businesses for $552m (€507m).

Diageo plans to use net proceeds of about $489m after tax and transaction costs to repay borrowings.

For Diageo the sale is part of a broad shakeup under chief executive Ivan Menezes, who said in October that the firm was selling stakes in two beer brewers to Heineken for $780.5m while buying a 20pc stake in Guinness Ghana Breweries from Heineken.

At the time of the initial announcement Treasury said the purchase of brands including Sterling Vineyards, Yellow Tail, Blossom Hill and Piat d’Or as well as the Chateaux & Estate Wine business in the US would immediately double its luxury net sales revenue in that country.

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