By: Olly Wehring
The just-drinks leader, written by the just-drinks leader.
I'm not entirely sure why so many trade press column inches were given over to the latest 'news' from Diageo's new single grain Scotch whisky brand, Haig Club, yesterday. I mean, the launch of the product was initially announced six months ago.
From some of the noises coming out of London yesterday, I am willing to suggest the following: SABMiller is rather annoyed with Heineken. That's probably because, Heineken broke an unwritten rule among the larger companies by going public on its talks with SABMiller.
The book has been closed – for now – on the end of the plc line for Treasury Wine Estates, following yesterday's announcement that it has called time on negotiations with two separate parties on a possible takeover.
Yesterday afternoon, here in London, the UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association hosted its annual conference. Headlining the show was Sir John Hegarty, co-founder of the Bartle Bogle Hegarty advertising agency and best known for creating the Levi 501 ads and the 'Vorsprung Durch Technik' tagline for Audi.
Heineken's announcement earlier today of an approach by SABMiller confirms what some observers have warned in recent months: The 'Mega-Merger' is most definitely on.
Today's official opening of the new Guinness production facility at the brand's St James's Gate site in the centre of Dublin stands in marked contrast to how the plot's future looked less than ten years ago. It is refreshing to see – for whatever reason - a plc the size of Diageo bowing to a brand's provenance, even if such nods are a rarity these days.
While it was a predictable bit of business, William Grant & Sons' purchase of Drambuie – announced yesterday – still carries a slight element of surprise to it for me.
One of the things I noticed quite early into my career covering drinks was just how many so-called 'industry veterans' there are. One of my regular lines quickly became that people seldom leave our industry, presumably because it's so much fun.
Earlier this month, after Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Rhone Capital tabled a joint-bid for Treasury Wine Estates that prompted the wine company to open its books, I posited that the move would not trigger a bidding war.
The struggles go on for Carlsberg who, in its half-year results yesterday, indicated that things in Russia – where it is market leader – look set to get worse before they get better.
Late last week, Pernod Ricard's Chivas Brothers division launched an online campaign with its Ballantine's Scotch whisky brand to create a whisky emoji.
With Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co returning to Melbourne with an improved offer for Treasury Wine Estates, and the Australian wine company not slamming the door this time, the future for Treasury looks pretty sealed down.
The news this week that Krzysztof Trylinski is stepping down at Belvedere brings the curtain down on a professional chapter that has been nothing if not colourful.
Changing a company's name – or a brand's name, for that matter – is a dangerous game. But, in this Search Engine Optimisation age, sometimes the need to change is so great that the risk has to be taken.
Finally, after almost 20 months, Diageo has got what it initially wanted in India. The company today (2 July) confirmed it now holds the majority of shares in United Spirits. This achievement, however, has cost way more than Diageo initially expected; to the tune of around US$1bn.
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Diageo's Q1 Results by Region
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- SABMiller's troubles fuel M&A rumours
- Focus - Remy Cointreau's H1 Performance by Brand
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Diageo Q1 sales dip "in line with expectations"
- TWE unveils Penfolds range after CEO's "bold move"