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Whyte & Mackay could sell for as high as £450m next week

Published:  13 February, 2014

Rothschild, Rabobank and Standard Chartered are the investment banks that have been formally appointed to run the sale of Whyte & Mackay by Diageo, which is set to begin next week and could sell for as much £450m.

Whyte & Mackay own several brands including Jura, The Dalmore, Cluny, John Barr, Glen Salen, Whyte & Mackay and Russian Standard Vodka.

In an effort to avoid anti-competition concerns Diageo agreed to sell Whyte & Mackay so that Diageo could move forward with the purchase of United Spirits. Whyte & Mackay was owned by United Spirit prior to Diageo purchasing the conglomerate.

The Dalmore Scotch single malt whisky may or may not be part of the deal, as Diageo is keen to try and keep a hold of the brand.

Several potential investors have already been identified, including the former owner of the Whyte & Mackay, Vivian Imerman, who sold the company to Untied Spirits in 2007.

UK competition regulators, the Office of Fair Trading, objected to United Spirits being acquire by Diageo because would mean that one party would have a market share of more than a 25%. Following an investigation by the OFT, the conclusion that the loss of competition could give rise to higher prices for retailers and consumers.

Prior to Diageo acquiring United Spirits, the companies were the two leading suppliers of blended bottle whisky in the UK.