Suntory “makes bid” for Whyte & MackayBy Becky Paskin
Suntory has reportedly offered to buy Whyte & Mackay from United Spirits, just days after revealing its US$16 billion bid to buy Beam Inc.
According to CNBC TV18, the Japanese drinks group has made an offer of below $1bn for Whyte & Mackay, which produces Scotch whisky brands Jura and The Dalmore.
Quoting unnamed sources, CNBC TV18 claims the bid has the backing of three private equity investors.
Diageo, which bought Whyte & Mackay during its acquisition of United Spirits last year, has offered to sell the business to appease competition concerns from the British Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Vivian Imerman, former CEO of Whyte & Mackay, had expressed interest in repurchasing the group in December, should it be positioned for sale, although there he has not yet placed a formal bid.
Suntory’s bid for US drinks group Beam Inc, which was announced last week, would see the group take on brands such as Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, giving Suntory a firm foothold in the US market.
The ownership of Whyte & Mackay’s Scotch brands would further solidify Suntory’s ambitions to be an international drinks group with a solid UK presence.
Spokespeople from Diageo, Whyte & Mackay and Suntory have not responded to requests for comment.