The Nolet family has until June to sell its 50% stake in Ketel One to Diageo

The Nolet family has until June to sell its 50% stake in Ketel One to Diageo

The head of Diageo has reiterated the company's preparedness to take full control of Ketel One, as the deadline approaches for its JV partner to take out the stake sale option on the vodka brand.

Back in 2008, Diageo teamed with brand owner the Nolet family to form Ketel One Worldwide. Since 2011, the family has had the option to sell its holding in the JV to Diageo for US$900m, plus 5.5% annual interest.

This option is set to expire on 9 June this year.

Speaking exclusively to just-drinks today (31 January), however, Diageo's CEO, Paul Walsh, said that he does not see the Nolet family exercising the option. “All I would say is that they are very happy with the relationship, as are we,” he said. “I don't see that (the option being taken) happening.”

However, Walsh added: “If they wish to sell, we'd be happy to buy.”

Should the Nolets exercise the option, but Diageo did not buy out the family, the drinks giant would have to pay them $100m.

Walsh was talking at the sidelines of Diageo's H1 results briefing in London.