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Diageo has remained tight-lipped on continued speculation that it may pull out of its joint venture with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

The drinks giant has been plagued by rumours that it will dissolve its relationship with the French group in order to acquire its rival Rémy Cointreau.

When contacted by just-drinks today (18 January), a spokesperson for Diageo declined to comment: "It is not our policy to comment on speculation," the spokesperson said. A spokesperson for LVMH also declined to comment on the matter.

Diageo owns 34% of LVMH's wines and spirits unit Moet Hennessy and has an option to sell the stake to LVMH at six months notice.

The rumours pushed up Rémy's share price yesterday; at the close, trading had pushed the company's share price up 4.5% to EUR51.4.

The company also posted a slight lift in group turnover for the year so far. In the nine months to 31 December, turnover rose 2.2% to EUR610.5m (US$788.7m). T

he group's Cognac division posted sales for the period of EUR263m, up 6.9% year-on-year, while Rémy's spirits and Champagne divisions both contributed growth - 3.1% and 6.5% respectively.

Late last year, Rémy announced that it was pulling out of Maxxium, its global distribution venture with Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Edrington Group and V&S Group.

The departure, scheduled for 2009, will cost Rémy EUR240m. The move is widely believed to be a precursor to Rémy putting itself up for sale.


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