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03.2008

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedAtPressTime

Diageo Jilts Absolut for Ketel One

Article By: MBB

Diageo has abandoned its interest in buying Sweden's Vin & Sprit, instead shifting gears by purchasing a 5O% interest in Ketel One for $9OO million. Diageo will have the right of first refusal over the sale of the remaining 5O% stake should the family decide to sell in the fourth or fifth year after it closes. If Diageo decides not to buy the remaining stake for $9OOm plus interest, it would have to pay a $1OOm penalty. "We didn't submit a bid for Absolut," the spokeswoman said. "We did register an interest late last year but after an internal review looking at what options there were, we felt that the deal [for Ketel One] was a better strategic fit for Diageo." An estimated 1.9 million cases of Ketel One are sold each year, mostly in North America.

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