Shareholders at Diageo have said the company is considering buying Moët Hennessy, in a deal worth £10bn to £15 billion (€11.2 to €16.8 billion).
Bankers at Goldman Sachs are understood to be advising Diageo on the financial possibilities. Other banks, including Credit Suisse, have also been sounded out about potential funding.
France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, currently owns LVMH, which includes Moët Hennessy, the group’s wines and spirits division.
In a previo
us statement, he denied the company was “in discussions to divest Moët Hennessy.” However, it was later understood his denial related to newspaper reports stating talks on a potential purchase had already begun, and LVMH had not ruled out discussions with Diageo.
Analysts have said this would be an excellent strategic acquisition for Diageo. By acquiring the leading Cognac brand, Hennessy, it would fill the last major gap in its portfolio.
LVMH has reported first-quarter revenues of €4 billion; similar to last year’s results. However, revenues in the wine and spirits division fell by 16%, partly due to weaker demand for champagne.