Friday, December 12, 2008

Wild Turkey For Sale?

Published sources are reporting that Pernod Ricard will gladly sell the Wild Turkey bourbon brand and distillery, if a suitable buyer can be found.

The story goes like this. Pernod bought the producer of Absolut Vodka and now needs to raise cash to bring down its debt. It won't sell any of its 15 core brands, but Wild Turkey is not on the protected list. That makes it an endangered species.

According to at least one published report, Wild Turkey is at the very top of the "for sale" list.

A year ago, Pernod announced it was investing $30 million in a major expansion of the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Last month, it announced that it needs about a billion dollars to make the Absolut acquisition go down smoothly.

Eyes on the ground tell me not much has actually happened yet in Lawrenceburg except some earth moving.

Obviously, the timing is terrible. The other problem is, the distilled spirits industry is so consolidated now, who could buy it?

Pernod's 15 core brands are Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Jameson, Havana Club, Ricard, Beefeater, Montana, Ballantine, Kahlua, Malibu, Absolut, Jacob's Creek, Mumm, Perrier-Jou√ęt, and Martell.


Kevin said...

my guess is Skyy Spirits... I've heard they are looking for a bourbon

Drinksamania said...

You might take a look at Drinks Americas out of CT. Some interesting things going on. Kind of like a puzzle. Put the pieces together!

Chuck Cowdery said...

I debated whether or not to accept the comment from Drinksamania, who is presumably just someone from Drinks America or their PR agency puffing-up that company, which markets Trump Vodka. There's nothing of substance in their very long-winded commentary about DKAM and Wild Turkey, but readers might find it amusing. It's mostly about an equally unlikely acquisition by DKAM of the Labatt's beer brand. The relevant post is here.

Drinksamania said...

Thanks Chuck. Perhaps this will change your tune. It isn't a PR coup. It is the real deal.

Chuck Cowdery said...

I never questioned the existence of Drinks Americas, just its ability to buy Labatts or Wild Turkey. Such an acquisition wouldn't even make sense for a company whose products are driven by their celebrity tie-ins.

Lew Bryson said...

"Kid Rock Beer."

That's pretty much it for how I feel about Drinks Americas.

Unknown said...

What about Diageo, who took Bushmill's off Pernod's hands to break up their near-lock on Irish Whisky? They only have Bulleit in the Bourbon line, right?

Chuck Cowdery said...

Diageo is a possibility. Also very possible is no sale at all.