Diageo is still in talks over Zacapa

Diageo is still in talks over Zacapa

Diageo has declined to provide further details on the its talks with the Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala group regarding their agreement over the Zacapa rum brand, confirming only that discussions are ongoing.

Last month, the drinks giant confirmed to just-drinks that it has started talks with the Guatemalan firm as the three-year global distribution and joint marketing deal between the two draws to a conclusion in April next year. When asked about the situation on a conference call today (3 December), however, Ed Pilkington, the global category director for vodka, gin and rum at Diageo, said he could not give any further information on the matter.

"We can't really go into any more detail," Pilkington said, "other than the fact that we're in discussions with the brand owners at the moment.

"We're delighted with how we've progressed with the brand - it's been a great partnership and we're in conversations. That's where it's at."

While Diageo has an option to buy a 50% equity stake in the brand "subject to performance criterion", Pilkington said he "can't go into" how much the stake would cost.

"We went into the deal with those parameters," he said. "We've been very happy with where it's at and we're having good discussions."

The agreement between Diageo and Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala is scheduled to end on 1 April.

Pilkington was fielding questions following this morning's webcast on Diageo's rum portfolio.