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Diageo seeks Pimm’s buyer

Spirits multinational Diageo has hired financial services group Rothschild to sell off a trio of brands including iconic British brand Pimm’s.

Diageo seeks Pimm's buyer

Diageo is also looking to shed two of its other non-core brands — Safari, a fruit liqueur, and rum brand Pampero — according to Sky News, where this story was first reported.

The British-based company may not end up offloading the Pimm’s brand, one insider told Sky News on Thursday, as the process is currently in its very early stages. Diageo, which also owns Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Smirnoff, has hired bankers at London-based firm Rothschild to explore sale options.

The company has not revealed whether it would consider selling the brands separately or whether it was only interested in offers for the trio as a whole.

Results released by Diageo in January fell short of analysts predictions, suggesting the company facing continued financial pressures.

The world’s premium alcohol group was hard hit by a 23% fall in the Latin American and Caribbean region which accounts for 10% of its business. Overall, sales fell 1.4% to $11.0 billion, with organic sales down 0.6%.

Will a sale of Pimm’s come quicker than the search for a new chairman? Diageo has also started the search for someone to take over from Javier Ferran, who is due to retire when his term of office expires next year. The multinational has hired Russell Reynolds Associates to identify a replacement.

Pimm’s, a Royal Warrant Holder, has its origins in 1840. James Pimm mixed the drink to complement the shellfish shucked at his chain of London oyster bars.

The British brand also holds an important role in Diageo’s origin story, acquired in 1997 as part of the tie-up between Grand Metropolitan and Guinness plc which led to the formation of the parent company.

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