Blog: Chris MercerDiageo and Moet Hennessy [continued]

Chris Mercer | 25 October 2010

One day, Diageo will probably get its hands on Moet Hennessy proper, but only one man knows when.

Rumours that Diageo has again been sizing up Moet went into overdrive at the weekend after Moet's parent, LVMH, said it has invested in a stake in Hermes. The further LVMH seeks to go down the fashion catwalk, the less it will be interested in fizz and Cognac - or so the logic goes.

Diageo continues to make no secret of its desire to buy the 66% of Moet that it does not already own. This desire must have increased four-fold after seeing Pernod Ricard and Remy Cointreau clean up in the Chinese Cognac market over the last year.

But, the intimation from sources close to Diageo, and the sober response from several analysts, suggests that talk of a deal is still half-baked. LVMH's chairman, Bernard Arnault, has not appeared in any mood to do a deal - yet.

Diageo might be tempted to spend a little more than the going market rate in order to acquire Moet, but there is little sense that Arnault wants - or needs - to sell at the moment.

The 61-year-old, then, is holding the final piece of the jigsaw.


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