Blog: Olly WehringFortune - bye-bye wine, hello Absolut?

Olly Wehring | 13 November 2007

Fortune Brands' move to sell its US wine business, announced yesterday (12 November), would appear to set the scene perfectly for the impending bunfight over Vin & Sprit.

The likely sale of the Swedish state-owned drinks company, which owns the Absolut vodka brand, is expected to be announced in the coming months. And, with Fortune jointly handling Absolut's distribution in the US with V&S, as well as the two being partners in global distribution company Maxxium, Fortune appears to have the most to lose should it fail in acquiring the Swedish firm.

With Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi, among others, having all voiced their interest in V&S, it is understandable that it might be 'squeaky bum' time at Fortune's headquarters in Illinois. Certainly, the US$840m Fortune is expected to realise from the wine sale to Constellation Brands will help, but you can be pretty sure that the other runners and riders will take pleasure in, at least, driving V&S's sale as high as they can - and we all know that Diageo and Pernod have quite deep pockets when it comes to brand buying.

And so, we all wait for the off. All it'll take is for the Swedish government to raise the starting tape.

I, for one, can't wait - nor, it seems, can Fortune, now.


BLOG

The brutal truth behind India's temperance movement

Some people in India believe alcohol should be more difficult to purchase. Last month, the state of Bihar halted all alcohol sales as its chief minister made good on an election promise. ...

BLOG

How to test Heineken's sense of humour

Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....

BLOG

Which spirits category is the next big thing?

Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....

BLOG

Aperol Spritz - Just the one. A large one?

I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?