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Analysis - Brown-Forman casts eye over Scotch buy

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Brown-Forman is unlikely to seek acquisitions in the short-term but may expand its whisk(e)y portfolio at a later date, according to an analyst.

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The company posted strong gains for its North American whiskey portfolio in year-to-date results yesterday. In a note today (7 March), Nomura said the company may look to strengthen its presence in the Scotch and Irish whisk(e)y categories.

The analyst also said that Brown-Forman could target local brands to “help distribution in new, fast growth markets”, which have performed well for the company.

Brazil and Mexico grew at double-digit rates in the nine-months, while India, Thailand and Indonesia were up by about 20% on average, the company said. 

However, a “special dividend” paid out to shareholders in December worth a total US$850m rules out immediate acquisitions, Nomura said.


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