SWEDEN: Diageo confirms interest in V&S - Update

By | 25 June 2007

Diageo has confirmed its interest in looking at Vin & Sprit, the makers of Absolut vodka, after the Swedish government sanctioned the sale of the wine and spirits company last week.

Speaking to just-drinks last week, a spokesperson for Diageo said: "We will look at Vin & Sprit carefully. Our strategy is to grow our business organically, but also through selective acquisitions, provided they can deliver shareholder value. We will therefore examine what's on offer and see whether it meets our acquisition criteria."

The interest from the drinks giant follows recent news that the Swedish parliament has approved plans to sell stakes in V&S, as well as five other companies.

Pernod Ricard and Fortune Brands are also among the companies considered to be the favourites to acquire the Swedish drinks maker.

Norm Wesley, Fortune's chairman and CEO was recently cited in a local business paper saying: "We have cooperated for a long time with Vin & Sprit. It would be a natural and logical step after our close cooperation if we bought V&S. Absolut would be our biggest brand. But we are also very interested in other brands in V&S's portfolio, such as Plymouth Gin and Cruzan Rum. We have the financial flexibility to buy all or parts of V&S, depending on how the Swedish government decides to do the sale."

Pernod Ricard was not immediately available for comment.

Sectors: Spirits, Wine

Companies: Diageo, Absolut, V&S, Pernod, Ricard, Fortune Brands

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