SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) — Two players in the spirits sector may be close to a buyout deal, effectively shaking up the high end of the alcoholic beverage business.
According to a story in Thursday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources, Bacardi is close to a deal to acquire the superpremium vodka brand, Grey Goose, for more than $2 billion.
A spokeswoman for Sidney Frank Importing, the U.S. distributor of Grey Goose, said she could not comment on the Journal story but added that there may be news released on Friday.
A Bacardi spokeswoman said that the story was “speculative,” but added that the company is always looking for opportunities to expand its product portfolio.
The privately held, Bermuda-based Bacardi has another entry in the high-end vodka category. It began distributing Turi vodka from Estonia in 2002. Bacardi is primarily known for its rum, although it also owns the Dewar’s Scotch whiskey, Bombay gin and Martini & Rossi vermouth brands.
In May 2003, Bacardi shareholders voted to create a new class of stock that cleared the way for a possible initial public offering. Most shareholders are members of the company’s founding family, and it would take another vote by them for Bacardi to actually go public.
U.K.-based spirits and wine distiller Allied Domecq
eyed Bacardi for a possible acquisition a little over a year ago, according to a report by the London Guardian. At the time, Allied Domecq called the report highly speculative and said it was taking with several different companies about possible combinations.
Grey Goose, bottled in France, has remained the top — and one of the most expensive — brands in the superpremium category. It retails for about $29 a bottle and, according to the Journal, accounts for about half of superpremium vodka sales in the United States.
View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bacardi-reportedly-dealing-to-buy-grey-goose-vodka