Saturday 16 December 2017

Diageo possible takeover target for Brazil's richest man - reports

The Guinness brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin.
The Guinness brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin.

Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann and his partners in private equity firm 3G Capital are considering a potential bid for Irish-listed Diageo, the maker of iconic brands such as Guinness and Baileys, according to the Brazilian newsweekly Veja.

Lemann, who is Brazil's richest man, and partners Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira, are in the initial stages of studying a buyout offer for Diageo, Veja reported in its Radar column, without saying how it obtained the information.

The magazine did not elaborate. The report has not been independently verified by news agencies such as Reuters.

Diageo had no immediate comment. Efforts to reach 3G Capital representatives in Rio de Janeiro were not successful.

U.S.-listed shares of Diageo jumped 8.7pc on the report to close at $118.0 in heavy trading, the biggest gain in six and a half years.

Mr Lemann has embarked on a shopping spree in recent years that included buying Burger King from Diageo in 2010 and buying H.J. Heinz Co in 2013 in partnership with U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett.

Harvard-educated Lemann is the chief investor and strategist at 3G Capital. His equity company controlled 65 percent of the Brazilian beer market before embarking abroad to merge with Belgium's Interbrew in 2004 to form InBev, which bought U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch in 2008.


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