James Wilmore

Comment - Does Whyte & Mackay's New Broom Offer a Glimpse of the Future?

By | 19 September 2013

Diageo is set to take control of Whyte & Mackay, if the OFT okays the United Spirits deal

Diageo is set to take control of Whyte & Mackay, if the OFT okays the United Spirits deal

What is one to make of this week's news that Scotch whisky producer Whyte & Mackay (W&M) has installed former Diageo man Bryan Donaghey as its new chief executive?

The Glasgow-based company is expected to come under the control of the drinks giant, if the UK's Office of Fair Trading gives the green light to Diageo's deal to take control of W&M's parent company, United Spirits.

But, does the Donaghey development offer a clue over the fate of W&M?

On the face of it, Donaghey's exit from Diageo may not have been on the best of terms: The company said on Tuesday that he had “severed” his employment with the group, adding only that it would not comment further. Earlier this year, Donaghey, who spent nine years with the company, was shifted from his role as MD of Diageo's production business in Scotland to “supply strategy director”.

It doesn't really have quite the same ring to it, does it? 

Diageo, which has declined to comment on Donaghey joining W&M, has said that the whisky firm will retain its “independence” and management kept seperate, at least until the OFT review is complete. W&M's last CEO, John Beard, left with no explanation given, which only adds to the tangled web. 

W&M has also been quiet since news of the Diageo, United Spirits deal broke: The company's official Twitter feed has been silent since July

But, what if the competition authorities wave through the deal, and Donaghey finds himself reporting, ultimately, to the company with whom which he has just “severed” ties? 

Does this suggest that those in the know are gearing up for W&M to be sold-off, as analysts have speculated? That's a lot of speculation to be scotched.

Expert analysis

Whiskey in G20 to 2015: Market Guide

Synopsis Canadean’s, "Whiskey in G20 to 2015: Market Guide" provides in-depth detail on the trends and drivers of the Whiskey market in G20. The report includes quantitative information (historic and forecast market values). The report provides data, analyses and opinion to help companies in the Alcoholic Drinks industry better understand the changes in their environment, seize opportunities and formulate crucial business strategies. Summary This report is the result of Canadean’s extensive market research covering the Whiskey market in G20. The report provides a top-level overview and detailed insight into the operating environment for the Whiskey market in G20. It is an essential tool for companies active across the Alcoholic Drinks value chain and for new players that are considering entering the market. Scope • Overview of the Whiskey market in G20. • Analysis of the Whiskey market and its categories (where applicable), including full year 2010 consumption value and forecasts until 2015 • Historic and forecast consumption values for Whiskey for the period 2005 through to 2015 Reasons To Buy • The report provides you with important figures for the Whiskey market in G20 with individual country analysis. • The report will help you to identify trends by analyzing historical industry data. • The report will help you analyze the market with detailed historic and forecast market values, segmented at category level (where applicable). • The report will help you to enhance your knowledge of the market with key figures on consumption value and segmentation by category for the historic period. • The report will help you to plan future business decisions using forecast figures for the market. Key Highlights NA

Sectors: HR – personnel, Spirits

Companies: Diageo, Whyte & Mackay, United Spirits

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