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US: Brown-Forman silent on acquisition plans

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Brown-Forman has declined to confirm that it is looking to up its presence in the vodka and whiskey categories.

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Late yesterday (1 October), an analyst said the Jack Daniel's maker has a potential US$3bn to spend on acquisitions, with Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey and vodka high on its list of targets. But, a Brown-Forman spokesperson has told just-drinks that he could not say anything about the company's M&A strategy.

The spokesperson added: “We are always alert to possible acquisitions that we believe would do well in our hands.”

Analyst Nomura said it had "recently spent some time" with Brown-Forman, noting that the company "continues to outperform" the international spirits market.

Nomura said Brown-Forman will fund any deal with a 2.5x net debt/ebitda leverage that should free up $3bn, adding that smaller specific brand or country deals would be expected.

Last year, Brown-Forman spent an undisclosed sum buying up the Maximus vodka brand from Altia Corporation.


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