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Diageo pulls $163m Windsor whisky sale

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo had retracted its US$163 million deal to sell blended Scotch brand Windsor to a private South Korean equity group after it failed to meet certain conditions.

Windsor whisky
Blended Scotch whisky brand Windsor is sold primarily in Korea

Diageo first announced its agreement to sell the brand to the South Korea-based Bayside Private Equity and Metis Private Equity (Bayside/Metis) consortium in March this year.

The transaction, which included the W series, was due to be completed in fiscal 2023.

However, Diageo said the deal has now been terminated as Bayside/Metis was unable to meet certain conditions as part of the agreement.

Windsor Global will continue to operate the Windsor business under an independent entity to the Diageo Korea spirits and beer arm.

The deal, part of Diageo’s “active portfolio management”, comes hot on the heels of the firm’s sale of its peach schnapps brand Archers to Dutch firm De Kuyper earlier this month.

Furthermore, in May, Diageo’s Indian arm, United Spirits, agreed to offload its ‘Popular’ business of 32 brands to Inbrew Beverages for approximately 8.2 billion rupees (US$105.7m).

However, Diageo has continued to make investments, including the recent purchase of a minority stake in gin producer Nao Spirits, through its Indian subsidiary.

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