April 27, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
The London International Wine Fair and Distil. 25,000 wines and spirits for tasting. Over 30 seminars, debates and masterclasses for learning. 30,000 wine and spirits trade professionals for meeting. But only 3 days.
Diageo found itself at the centre of fierce takeover speculation last week, amid reports that the company has held informal talks with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Senior executives at the drinks giant have made it clear that the company certainly has the cash at hand to make acquisitions this year, should it choose to pursue them.
Analysts, meanwhile, have queued up to present a long list of reasons why a Diageo move for Moët Hennessy would make sense. For one, Diageo already owns a 34% stake in the wine and spirits arm of LVMH. Also, for all its might, Diageo is notably absent in Champagne and Cognac, with Moët boasting Moët & Chandon and Hennessy in these respective categories.
However, LVMH has officially denied talking to Diageo about a sale. A Financial Times article last week was the first to suggest that, while Diageo's reasons to buy are many, LVMH does not necessarily have a strong motive to sell - at least at the moment.
LVMH, it said, views its drinks portfolio as a nice little earner, despite a first quarter sales decline, and could be unwilling to get rid of it, unless it finds something else to buy with the proceeds.
The door is ajar, then, but a deal may not be quite as imminent as some of the speculation would have you believe.
Among the other big stories last week was the announcement that PepsiCo is looking to buy up complete control of two of its bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas. Take a look here for our analysis of the move.
We also had the Budget announcement here in the UK last week, which caused much hand-wringing within the industry. But there is another school of thought, which we consider here. A popular opinion? Please let us know.
Just-drinks was at the World Whiskies Conference last week in London, and a pretty colourful event it was too. Take a look here for full coverage of the event.
Speaking of colourful events, we're two weeks away from this year's London International Wine Fair and its spirits-related sister show, Distil. As usual, just-drinks will be there in force, so drop us a line at email@example.com to let us know what your company has in store for the show, as well as nailing us down for some face-time.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
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