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UK regulators look into Diageo deal

UK competition regulators are looking into the Diageo-United Spirits deal, while the British company has just completed the buyout of a Chinese company.

After months of discussions and the completion of a 25% buyout earlier this July, events finally seemed to be moving forward in the protracted deal.

However, according to Reuters, UK regulators are now keen to investigate whether the deal will have a negative effect on the spirits market.

As part of the deal, Diageo, already the world’s biggest Scotch whisky producer with brands such as Johnnie Walker, would take over United Spirit’s Whyte & Mackay subsidiary.

The Office of Fair Trading’s “invitation to comment” process should be over by 2 August. A spokesman for the OFT called the review “standard procedure”.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have approved Diageo becoming the sole shareholder of the Sichuan Chengdu Shuijingfang Group, which owns the white spirits company ShuiJungFang.

Diageo had to buy the final 47% stake for around £233 million. Gilbert Ghostine, president of Diageo Asia Pacific, called the move a “milestone in the journey we began with our partners six years ago”.


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