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Diageo Says It Would Consider Acquiring Full Ownership Of Ketel One

December 5, 2012

Diageo PLC said earlier today that it would consider acquiring full ownership of Ketel One if it came on the market. “If (the Nolet family) decided they wanted to sell, we’d be interested,” Peter Fairbrother, Diageo’s global brand director for Ketel One, told an audience of journalists in advance of an investor presentation on Diageo’s vodka portfolio that took place this morning in London.

Diageo paid the Nolets $900 million to acquire a 50% stake in Ketel One in 2008, with the family retaining the other 50%. The deal also gave Diageo global marketing rights for the Dutch vodka brand.

Ketel One has enjoyed solid growth of late—the brand’s net sales were up 9% in Diageo’s 2012 fiscal year (ended June 30, 2012), after a 1% increase in fiscal 2011. However, Diageo sees considerable upside for the brand, particularly outside the U.S. Ketel One sold roughly 2.2 million cases globally in calendar 2011, with roughly 90% of that coming from the U.S. While Diageo has expanded Ketel One’s global distribution footprint from around 20 markets in 2008 to roughly 70 in 2012, the company said it has yet to build significant scale in any market outside the U.S. It’s now aiming to do that by building brand awareness in trendy bars in key metro hubs around the globe.


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