Wednesday 1 March 2017

Diageo plots bid for drinks giant Beam in wake of deal

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

GUINNESS owner Diageo is said to be plotting to buy the drinks giant Beam, less than a week after Beam increased its Irish whiskey business.

Beam agreed a deal to buy US-based Irish whiskey firm "2 Gingers" last week and, earlier this year, paid more than €70m to buy John Teeling's Cooley Distillery.

Yesterday, however, it emerged that Diageo was considering a bid for a number of Beam's brands, and its Irish whiskey business is thought to be a prime target.

Diageo has apparently held talks with the Japanese distiller, Suntory, about putting together a joint bid for the American giant, which is worth an estimated €7.5bn.

The talks are not taking place at present and Diageo is not believed to have made a formal approach to Beam yet.

However, London-based Diageo, which counts Guinness and Smirnoff Vodka among its numerous brands, is also thought to have held talks with private equity companies in an effort to put together a bid.

Irish Independent

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