The biggest drinks acquisitions of 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, we round up a year of acquisitions which has seen two prominent British brewers snapped up by foreign investors, Constellation Brands agree a wine sale worth over US$1 billion, and the break-up of retailers Naked Wines and Majestic.

Constellation Brands has certainly been one of the most active in the acquisitions scene this year, taking both majority and minority stakes in a number of companies.

Its sale of just under 30 wine brands to E&J Gallo, however, was one of the biggest in the drinks industry this year.

In the UK, if 2018 was the year of the Conviviality collapse, 2019 marked the split of retailers Majestic and Naked. It was also an important year for the UK beer and pub industry, with a number of high profile deals involving Fuller’s, Greene King and Stonegate.

Elsewhere, this year has seen Campari invest heavily in rum, AB InBev sell off its Australian subsidiary, Diageo invest in non-alcoholic drinks for the first time, and a Chinese firm purchase a prominent Scotch producer.

Other major drinks deals this year, not mentioned in the following pages, include the Chanel Group investing in a wine estate on an island off Provence, Champagne co-operative Nicolas Feuillatte purchasing Champagne house Henri Abelé from the Freixenet Group, The Michelin Guide buying wine newsletter The Wine Advocate, Amber Beverage Group acquiring UK drinks distributer Cellar Trends, Diageo buying draught cocktails company Tipplesworth, Bacardi forking out on US whiskey and vodka producer Stillhouse Spirits and Pernod Ricard buying premium Italian gin brand, Malfy.

While only acquiring a 55% and 50% stake respectively, it is also worth noting LVMH’s investment in Provence rosé producer Château d’Esclans – the maker of Whispering Angel – and Amorim buying into glass closure business Vinolok.

While not strictly a drinks deal, LVMH’s acquisition of American jeweller Tiffany & Co for US$16.2 billion was the largest acquisition in its history.

Click through for a reminder of some of the biggest deals that were finalised in 2019…

2 Responses to “The biggest drinks acquisitions of 2019”

  1. Sam Adams says:

    No mention of LVMH buying Whispering Angel?

  2. Josh M says:

    What about the fact that Constellation just sold off Ballast Point, which they originally purchased for $1B after just 4 years??

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