Every month, just-drinks looks at the M&A activity across all categories of the global drinks industry

Every month, just-drinks looks at the M&A activity across all categories of the global drinks industry

Here, just-drinks consolidates the M&A activity in the global drinks industry during May.

Wine

The Winebow Group acquires Negociants USA

The Winebow Group has purchased US importer Negociants USA. The deal, positioned as a merger, sees Negociants become a division of Winebow.

Distell offloads Uitkyk to Warwick Wine Estate

Distell has agreed to sell its Uitkyk winery in Stellenbosch, as it looks to streamline its portfolio. The company will offload Uitkyk to Warwick Wine Estate - which has "existing interests in the Western Cape wine industry",

Halewood Wines and Spirits explores sale options

Halewood Wines and Spirits has confirmed that its owners are investigating a sale of the company. Stewart Hainsworth, group CEO at Halewood, said management is exploring a potential sale that media reports at the weekend claimed could net the family behind the company GBP200m (US$271m). 

What can the wine industry learn from Concha y Toro? - Comment

When the aristocratic Don Melchor de Casa Concha wanted to keep thirsty winery workers from drinking his best wine, he made up a story that the devil lived in the wine cellar where the barrels were kept. It was a high-risk strategy. It would, after all, only have taken one inquisitive worker to call his bluff and head into the cellar to realise that there was nothing to the warning, and his reputation - and possibly his authority - would have been shot to pieces.

Spirits

Diageo lines up Pierde Almas mezcal acquisition

Diageo has moved further into the mezcal category with the purchase of an 'ultra-premium' brand. The company's Mexican unit said has agreed to acquire Oaxaca-based Pierde Almas. Financial details were not disclosed.

Diageo poised to make next non-core brand divestments

Diageo is looking to offload a raft of non-premium spirits brands in the US, just-drinks understands, as the group continues to hive off its non-core assets. Media reports in the UK claimed that Diageo has put up for auction several of its spirits brands, including Goldschlager schnapps, Myer's rum, Popov vodka and Romana sambuca

Will Diageo's American Anthem make vodka great again? - Comment

Monday this week was Memorial Day in the US, a federal holiday in honour of those killed while serving in the country's armed forces. Thanks to a recent product launch from Diageo, consumers were also encouraged to raise a patriotic glass of vodka in their memory. But, can American Anthem make vodka great again? Richard Woodard is sceptical.

Beer

Heineken takes minority stake in Belize Brewing Co

Heineken has acquired a minority share in a Belize brewery. The company said has purchased a minor stake in Belize Brewing Co, a subsidiary of Bowen & Bowen.

Why a growing craft brewer isn't always a takeover target – Comment

In April, the US trade organisation for craft brewers, the Brewers Association, released a most interesting list. just-drinks' resident beer commentator, Stephen Beaumont takes a closer look at the chart of the fastest-growing US craft brewers in 2017.

Soft Drinks

Brynwood Partners creates US contract-manufacturing hub with Carolina Beverage, Cold Spring Brewing merger

The private-equity firm behind Harvest Hill Beverage Co, Brynwood Partners, has merged its newly-acquired Carolina Beverage Group with Minnesota's Cold Spring Brewing Co in the US, to create a new national third-party producer. Cold Spring has bought 100% of the stock of Carolina Beverage Group from SunTx Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Why Deposit Return Schemes are the ultimate option for soft drinks - Comment

Our soft drinks commentator returns! This month, Richard Corbett considers the Deposit Return Scheme concept and flags why the soft drinks industry should welcome it with open arms.

Distribution

Amber Beverage Group completes Australian distribution transaction

Amber Beverage Group has closed its purchase of a holding in Australian spirits distributor Think Spirits. The transaction, which was lined up late last month, sees ABG take a "majority stake" in the Sydney-based company