May 4, 2010
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
The London International Wine Fair is widely regarded as the key trade event for wine and spirits in the world today. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010, the Fair delivers a unique opportunity for producers, importers and buyers to focus on business.
Story of the week on just-drinks came late, when Ireland's C&C Group announced on Friday (30 April) that it is selling its spirits and liqueurs division to William Grant for EUR300m (US$399.4m).
Just over a year ago, C&C moved to clarify reports that such a transaction was imminent, saying that the division was “categorically not for sale”. Since then, however, the company has struck various poses suggesting that a divestment was ever more likely. Last August, C&C made the most of Anheuser-Busch InBev's stripping of non-core assets, when it acquired Tennent's in Scotland for $292m. Then, in November, Constellation Brands sold The Gaymer Cider Co to C&C for $75m.
The company was clearly moving itself in the LAB – Long Alcoholic Beverage – direction. Not surprising, really, considering that its CEO is John Dunsmore, who oversaw the break-up of Scottish & Newcastle between Carlsberg and Heineken two years ago, and is also a board member at UK brewer Fuller, Smith and Turner.
Having tasted a takeover battle before, could Dunsmore be manoeuvring C&C into the position of must-have for one of the world's major brewers?
One to watch, I'll wager.
Features-wise last week, just-drinks put on a spirited display, starting with a chat with Diageo's chief marketing officer, Andy Fennell, before handing over to our spirits expert, Richard Woodard, to ponder whether premiumisation has had its day, or if the strategy still satisfies a consumer need.
We're two weeks away from this year's London International Wine Fair & Distil, and today (4 May), we start our diary pieces for the trade fair. We'll be running one a day up until the Monday before the exhibition begins, on Tuesday 18 May. So, if you'd like your company to be included, email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
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