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Diageo Hints At New Tequila Brand

February 4, 2013

While there’s been much speculation that Diageo would replace the departing Jose Cuervo in its portfolio by acquiring Sauza Tequila as part of a larger play for Beam Inc., Diageo CEO Paul Walsh recently said that developing a new Tequila would be the better move.

“I am somewhat disappointed that we were not able to acquire the Cuervo brand,” remarked Walsh during an investment presentation on Diageo’s first-half results on January 31. “But, ultimately, buying the brand through the transaction available to us would have been the wrong decision.”

Walsh then added that Diageo shareholders would be “much better served by our organic entry into this category. I hope we will be able to reveal exciting details later in the year.”

Diageo’s longtime partnership with Grupo Cuervo on category leader Jose Cuervo ends on June 30, 2013. For months, Diageo has been rumored to be considering a joint bid for Beam (with Suntory as a possible partner), in a move that would allow it to add Sauza, the world’s second-biggest Tequila brand. Diageo has declined to comment on the matter.


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