UK: Diageo bids for OFT green light over Whyte & Mackay

By | 10 July 2013

Whyte & Mackay is owned by United Spirits. Diageo is now the biggest shareholder in the company

Whyte & Mackay is owned by United Spirits. Diageo is now the biggest shareholder in the company

Diageo will seek "formal clearance" from the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) after its United Spirits deal gave it control of Scotch producer Whyte & Mackay

A Diageo spokesperson confirmed to just-drinks the group will be "engaging" with the OFT on the issue and will seek "formal clearance" in due course. "It would be inappropriate to comment further at the moment," the spokesperson added. 

An OFT spokesperson said it has "no comment" at this stage. 

Last week, Diageo became the biggest shareholder in United Spirits, which owns Whyte & Mackay, bringing its total stake in the UB Group subsidiary to 25.02%.

Analysts Nomura said last year that it did not expect “major regulatory issues”, with Diageo's share of the global Scotch market at around 35.5%, compared to Whyte & Mackay's 1.2%. 

However, Nomura said a sell-off of the Glasgow-based group would be the most likely scenario in the wake of the deal, with Gruppo Campari a potential buyer. 

Expert analysis

The Future of the Spirits Market in the UK, to 2016

Future of the Spirits Market in the UK, to 2016 is the result of Canadean’s extensive market research covering the Spirits market in the UK.

Sectors: Mergers & acquisitions, Spirits

Companies: Diageo, Whyte & Mackay, United Spirits, UB Group, Campari

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