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Diageo completes $550m brand sale to Sazerac

Leading spirits producer Diageo has completed the sale of 19 non-priority brands to US company Sazerac ahead of schedule in a deal worth US$550 million.

Sazerac has acquired 19 brands from Diageo

The deal, announced in November, had been expected to be completed in early 2019, netting Diageo £340m (US$436.9m) after tax and transaction costs.

The net proceeds will be returned to shareholders through a share repurchase scheme, which was revealed earlier in 2018.

The brands now under Sazerac’s ownership as a result of the sale include Canadian whiskies Seagram’s VO, Seagram’s 83, and Seagram’s Five Star, Myers’s Rum, Parrot Bay rum liqueur, Romana Sambuca, Popov vodka, Yukon Jack whisky liqueur, Goldschläger cinnamon liqueur, Stirrings cocktail mixer, The Club, Scoresby blended Scotch, Black Haus liqueur, Peligroso Tequila, Relska vodka, Grind espresso spirit, Piehole whiskey liqueur, Booth’s gin and John Begg blended Scotch.

As part of the deal, the Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff vodka producer has secured long-term supply contracts with Sazerac for five of the brands for a 10-year period.

Sazerac will take over the supply of all other brands within one year from the completion date (today, 21 December).

Jake Wenz, Sazerac’s chief operating officer, said: “We are excited to close on the sale of these 19 iconic brands from Diageo and we look forward to further developing these brands globally within the Sazerac portfolio.”

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