Blog: Whyte & Mackay - how much is enough?
Olly Wehring | 22 August 2006
It’s a maxim in business that everything has a price - and that truism could soon be tested at UK distiller Whyte & Mackay.
The company has started attracting interest from potential suitors after enjoying the first positive results of a turnaround in strategy over the last three years.
Whyte & Mackay has embarked on a series of cost-cutting measures and invested heavily in its brand portfolio, including its namesake Scotch whisky brand and Vladivar vodka. The moves underpin the company’s desire for a change in direction - away from low margin, private-label Scotch towards more premium brands.
Growing sales of the company’s branded whiskies are a sign that the hard work is beginning to pay off. However, that success has made Whyte & Mackay an attractive asset - and reportedly at the front of the queue is Indian billionaire Dr Vijay Mallya, the head of spirits giant UB Group.
Whyte & Mackay decided to keep its Invergordon Distillers business after witnessing a revival in the price of own-label whisky and has admitted that it has received “a number of approaches” for parts of the business.
Should those approaches turn into concrete offers, how long will the company’s largest shareholder, South African business tycoon Vivian Imerman, rebuff any advances? Whyte & Mackay’s focus on premium brands is a sensible move but it may only be a short-term fix. Healthy returns on upmarket whiskies like Isle of Jura are constrained by a distilling process that can take a decade.
Imerman is known to want to build the Whyte & Mackay business but his commitment to the company would be tested if Dr Mallya - known as India’s answer to Richard Branson - gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Perhaps because it's a Friday and I'm a bit hungry, but Pernod Ricard's idea to launch a 'London Steak Awards' backed by its Argentinian wine brand Graffigna seems like clever marketing. ...
Spotted in Havana this week – a healthy stock of Pernod Ricard's Havanista rum. ...
Alcohol always has a big presence at the Oscars, albeit mostly in a supporting role....
Business is booming at copper pot still makers Chalvignac - you can tell from the loud noise coming from its factory floor in the French town of Jarnac-Champagne. ...
- Interview - Beam Suntory's EMEA president
- Beckham, Diageo and the Allure of the VIP Pop-Up
- Interview - William Grant & Sons
- Interview - Beam Suntory's EMEA head - part II
- What do A-B InBev results mean for SABMiller deal?
- Diageo, Beckham launch VIP pop-up for Haig Club
- Diageo reveals US$400m Tequila investment
- Pinnacle Vodka, Skinnygirl roll out on ice
- Coca-Cola Co apologises over Fanta ad
- Diageo completes Don Julio, Bushmills swap deal
- Wine, 2014 and the future
- Beam Suntory Inc. - Strategy and SWOT Report
- Global RTD/RTS insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Spirits and RTDs, 2014 and the future