Diageo interested in Stock Spirits

Diageo interested in Stock Spirits

Diageo is one of several parties in the running to buy Stock Spirits from its private equity owner, Oaktree Capital Management. 

The Smirnoff producer has entered the bidding for Stock Spirits, which operates in Central & Eastern Europe, sources familiar with the situation have told just-drinks.

Yesterday (13 March), the Sunday Times newspaper reported that Diageo could spend GBP500m (US$804m) on Stock, which holds the Czysta de Luxe vodka brand and claims to be the number one spirits group by volume in both Poland and Czech, as well as the number one vodka firm in Italy.

Oaktree Capital has, for several months, been considering either a sale or a stock market flotation for Stock. Other private equity groups are believed to be competing with Diageo to acquire the drinks maker. Diageo declined to comment on the matter when contacted by just-drinks.
The drinks giant's CEO, Paul Walsh, said recently that the group would seek more acquisitions in emerging markets. "Bolt-on deals in the developing world are very important to us," Walsh told journalists at the company's half-year results conference.  

Last month, Diageo signed a deal to buy Turkey's leading spirits producer, Mey Içki, for US$2.1bn.

To read just-drinks' interview of Stock Spirits' CEO, Chris Heath, from late last year, click here.