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UK/JAPAN: Suntory dismisses Whyte & Mackay bid rumours

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Suntory has denied it is bidding to acquire Scotch whisky producer Whyte & Mackay.

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India's CNBC-TV 18 reported yesterday (20 January) that the Japanese firm has made an offer of just below US$1bn for the entire Whyte & Mackay business. However, a Suntory spokesperson has denied the company is in talks to acquire the Glasgow-based group. 

"We have never negotiated on the acquisition of Whyte and Mackay and also we don’t have a plan to acquire it," the Suntory spokesperson told just-drinks.

Whyte & Mackay is effectively controlled by Diageo, which is the largest shareholder in its parent company United Spirits. The Smirnoff producer has offered to sell off the “bulk” of Whyte & Mackay to satisfy the UK's Office of Fair Trading.

Yesterday Diageo declined to comment on rumours that Suntory had bid for Whyte & Mackay. 

just-drinks understands that the bid process for Whyte & Mackay’s assets is at the early stages and formal bids are not currently being considered. 

Seperately, last week Suntory said it had agreed a deal to acquire Beam Inc for $16bn

*This story was updated on 22 January after Suntory responded to a request for comment 


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