MEXICO: Jose Cuervo owner unlikely to sell easily to Diageo - analysts
Diageo may have to bide its time if it wants acquire Jose Cuervo Tequila at a reasonable price, according to Mexico-based analysts.
Diageo has a distribution deal with Jose Cuervo that runs until June 2013 and there has been recent speculation that the drinks giant could acquire the brand outright, perhaps for around US$2bn. Jose Cuervo Tequila accounts for around 29% of world Tequila sales by volume.
However, Diageo has been keen to point out that the ball sits squarely in the court of Cuervo's ruling Beckman family. “I do not think they want to sell now,” Ana Trulin, Mexican beverages analyst at Euromonitor, told just-drinks this week.
Another analyst, who did not wish to be named, agreed. The analyst said that Cuervo has enough cash to grow its business on its own.
“They have not formally expressed any interest in selling to anyone and I think their desire is to expand into other lucrative segments in Mexico,” he said. "If they decide to sell it will be at a very high price."
At the same time, the Beckman family seems keen to reduce its reliance on Tequila in Mexico. “The Tequila market is not growing that much, while whisk(e)y and vodka are growing hugely,” said Trulin.
Jose Beckman Vidal, chairman of Cuervo, said recently that the company was renegotiating its Diageo distribution deal, but was not interested in selling its business. A Cuervo spokesperson would not comment to just-drinks.
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