Blog: An acquired spirit
Chris Brook-Carter | 3 November 2005
Consolidation has been such a large part of the spirits market for so long now that I would go so far as to say that it has been the defining issue for the industry in the last decade.
My very first press conference as a journalist was the inaugural full-year results at Diageo following the merger between Grand Met and Guinness that created the World’s number one premium drinks group. Since then, the pace has rarely let up – that is until now.
On Friday I was interviewed by the business magazine Forbes for a piece the journalist was doing on Pernod Ricard. Inevitably, the conversation got round to merger and acquisition activity and, in particular, where the next big buy for the rapidly expanding French group would come from. For many years this was a fairly easy question to answer. But now, the options are beginning to look thin on the ground.
As we have discussed in our ongoing ‘Keep It In The Family’ series of features, the next level of family-run drinks groups look unwilling to play a part in the consolidation game, unless they are the ones doing the buying and, as the likes of Diageo and Pernod get bigger, competition issues become more and more of an issue.
However, that’s not to say consolidation is over, merely that it’s likely to take on a different shape. Campari certainly seems to believe there are opportunities out there, after its CEO made public in the last week a €500m war chest. Regional and bolt-on acquisitions are likely to be the key now in strategically important markets such as Latin America and Asia. Drinks companies, whether it is through joint ventures or smaller acquisitions, will be looking hard at expanding their presence in developing markets, particularly as the West continues to mature.
As the market leader, the position of Diageo in all of this will be crucial and just-drinks hopes to get an insight into the company’s thoughts this week, when deputy editor Olly Wehring sits down for an exclusive interview with CEO Paul Walsh. Keep your eyes peeled for the results of that chat.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Diageo's Q1 Results by Region
- SABMiller's troubles fuel M&A rumours
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- TWE unveils Penfolds range after CEO's "bold move"