20110323

Report: Jose Cuervo targeted for purchase

JUAN-DOMINGO BECKMANN (Photo by Bill Dowd)
One of the last major family-owned players in the adult beverage game reportedly is being targeted for purchase.

Diageo PLC of London, the world's largest maker of alcoholic drinks, is likely to make a $2 billion bid for Jose Cuervo, the world's biggest tequila brand, according to the Sunday Times of London, which did not cite sources in its report.

Jose Cuervo, founded more than 250 years ago, is owned by heirs of the Cuervo family, the Beckmann family, headed by Juan-Domingo Beckmann who took over the reins of the company in 2009.

The Sunday Times says the family has appointed Barclays Capital to explore a possible sale of all or part of the company. Other interested bidders could be Bacardi, Pernod Ricard and Brown-Forman. However, Diageo would appear to have the inside track since it already holds the international distribution rights to Jose Cuervo.

Diageo last month acquired Turkish spirits firm Mey Icki for $2.1 billion. It also owns such brands as Guinness, Harp and Red Stripe beers; Johnnie Walker, Bulleit, Crown Royal, Bushmills, Talisker and J&B whiskies; Smirnoff, Ketel One and Ciroc vodkas; Tanqueray and Gordon's gins; Hennessy cognac; Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur, and such champagnes as as Dom Perignon and Mo√ęt Chandon as well as numerous other brands in those and other categories.

[For a look inside the Cuervo empire, go here for my exclusive report.]

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Diageo owns Hennessy? I'm sure this is news to Bernard Arnault who is a 66% shareholder.

William M. Dowd said...

Good catch. Diageo distributes Hennessey. Thanks.