UK: Thai Beverages buys Inver House Distillers

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International Beverage Holdings, the international arm of brewing and distilling giant Thai Beverages, has bought Pacific Spirits UK, the owner of Scotch whisky producer Inver House Distillers.

InterBev, headquartered in Hong Kong, paid S$63.6m (US$40.8m) for Pacific Spirits UK and its Hong Kong-based distributor Best Spirits Company.

InterBev, which was set up in 2003 to promote Thai Beverages' international business, said the acquisitions were "an exciting new chapter" for the company.

"Our portfolio of brands is growing fast and has a reputation for quality and distinction. Our focus is now on working together to drive the business and its products at home and internationally," InterBev president Barrie Jackson said.

Founded in 1964, Inver House was the subject of a management buyout in 1988 and was sold in 2001 to Pacific Spirits UK for GBP58m (US$110.3m). The distiller produces whisky brands including Old Pulteney single malt. It saw sales rise 8% in 2005.

Best Spirits, set up in 1983, distributes a stable of brands including Thai Beverages' flagship beer Chang.

InterBev said that both the Inver House and Best Spirits operations would be "unchanged for company staff".

InterBev has hubs in Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, North America and the UK. In August it named John Lennon, the former president and CEO of US craft brewer Pyramid Breweries to head its office across the Atlantic.

Thai Beverage, the maker of Chang Beer and Mekhong whisky, floated in Singapore in May after raising S$1.37bn in a public listing.

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