The bidding process for Whyte & Mackay is reportedly nearing its end

The bidding process for Whyte & Mackay is reportedly nearing its end

Private equity firm Lion Capital has declined to comment on a report it has teamed up with Whyte & Mackay's (W&M) former CEO to table a bid for the Scotch whisky producer. 

The Sunday Times reported yesterday (13 April) that Lion is working with John Beard on a move for the Glasgow-based group. Beard left W&M as CEO last August, with no explanation given for his departure. 

A spokesperson for London-based Lion told just-drinks today it does not comment on speculation. Diageo also declined to comment.

Diageo is looking to sell off the bulk of W&M assets, including its Invergordon, Jura and Fettercairn distilleries, to satisfy the UK's Office of Fair Trading. The Smirnoff producer took on the portfolio last year after getting control of W&M's parent company United Spirits

Last November, another former W&M CEO & owner, Vivian Imerman, expressed an interest in buying back the Scotch producer. Imerman sold the company to Vijay Mallya's UB Group in 2007.

Yesteday's newspaper report claimed other bidders include SPI Group, ThaiBev, Gruppo Campari and private equity groups KKR and TPG. 

Final bids for W&M are due this week and expected to be between GBP350m (US$585.1m) and GBP400m, it was reported.