Diageo in Search of Wine Asset Buyers as it Looks to Exit Sector

Diageo, the world’s leading spirits maker has confirmed that it still intends to exit the wine business at its earliest convenience.

Speaking to the media at the company’s Capital Market Day in New York last week, CEO of Diageo, Ivan Menezes, said that with the exception of its Turkish and Indian operations, the company will exit the wine sector. “We’re virtually out,” he said on Wednesday. “There are some local businesses in Turkey and a little bit sitting in India and there is a couple more in California that didn’t fit into the package of what we sold to Treasury.”

Diageo has spent the last few months selling off its wine assets, beginning with the sale of several brands in both the US and the UK, including Blossom Hill to Treasury Wine Estates, an Australian company in October, followed by sale of its Argentinian wine assets – Navarro Correas and San Telmo to Grupo Penaflor earlier this month.

However, the company still holds the Chalone brand and the Acacia Winery and Vineyard in the US. Its Mey Icki and United Spirits subsidiaries both hold local wine interests in Turkey and India.

Menezes noted that the company will keep the Justerini & Brooks (J&B) Fine Wine Merchant in the UK because “that operation is very closely tied to what whiskey brand, J&B is all about.”

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