The London International Wine Fair is widely regarded as the world’s leading trade tasting with some 20,000 wines. The Fair delivers a unique opportunity for producers, importers and buyers to network, taste and focus on business. Free to visit and trade only – taking place at ExCeL London, 17-19th May.
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Ever since Fortune Brands announced late last year that it is set to focus solely on its Beam Global Spirits & Wine arm, the drinks division has certainly been talking a good game when it comes to its prospects for surviving as a standalone spirits company.
Last week, just-drinks published its interview with Beam's CEO, Matt Shattock, who warned off would-be suitors with his conviction that Beam has "a bright and long future as a standalone pure-play spirits company".
Whilst I have been keen to highlight that there is more than one option open to a soon-to-be-demerged Beam Global, most analysts would appear to think otherwise.
It's hard to imagine that Beam Global's management would not entertain a compelling offer for the business. Could it be more a case of who wants to buy the business, and when? Beam Global's foundations are relatively weak - there are no family ownership issues and its collection of brands were brought together via opportunism following Pernod Ricard's acquisition of Allied Domecq.
That same sense of opportunism within the industry could soon see the group picked apart.
Elsewhere last week, we released this month's management briefing, which looks at the unfortunately-titled PIGS markets of Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. These briefings are free to just-drinks subscribers, remember, so click here to join if you're not already in the fold.
Finally, if you operate in the UK's wine industry, we want to hear from you. Ahead of next month's London International Wine Fair, we're gearing up for our briefing at the exhibition. Could you kindly spare ten minutes of your time to answer some questions for us?
I'll buy you a drink if you do.
Until next time...